Saudi-led coalition rejects UN report on Yemen

UN report slammed both coalition and militia forces for a ‘very large number of violations’ including ‘attacks on schools and hospitals’

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The Saudi-led Arab Coalition fighting Houthi militias in Yemen rejected on Sunday a recent UN report claiming it committed violations in the conflict-torn country, describing it as “imbalanced and does not rely on credible statistics,” its military spokesman said.

“The report is imbalanced and does not rely on credible statistics, nor does it serve the Yemeni people,” coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Assiri told the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“It misleads the public with incorrect numbers and mostly relies on information from sources associated with the Houthi militia and the deposed (former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah) Saleh,” he said.

The report was released on Thursday by the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It slammed both the coalition and militia forces for a “very large number of violations” including “attacks on schools and hospitals.”

Gen. Assiri said the coalition was in Yemen to “protect the Yemeni people, including children, from the actions of the Houthi militia.”

He cited a $30 million Saudi aid program for Yemen launched in cooperation with the UN children’s fund (UNICEF).

Gen. Assiri hoped that the United Nations would remain on the side of the Yemeni people and would not seek through its reports to equate the legitimacy to the coup.

Assiri stressed that what is stated in the United Nations report, which claimed that the coalition has committed violations “contradicts the resolutions of the United Nations itself.”

United Nations Resolution No. 2216. recognizes government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as the legitimate government of Yemen.

“The report regrettably equates international legitimacy and the legitimacy of the government with militias, who are a major cause of Yemen’s instability and chaos,” he added.

In March last year, Saudi Arabia waged “Operation Decisive Storm” against the Houthi coup in Yemen and in support of Hadi’s government.

This article first appeared in the Saudi Gazette on June 6, 2016.

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