S. Arabia says U.N. report ‘inaccurate, misleading’

(Reuters)

Saudi Arabia on Friday rejected a United Nations report blaming a Saudi-led military coalition for killing or injuring 683 children in Yemen and attacking dozens of schools and hospitals as “inaccurate and misleading.”

“We exercise the maximum degree of care and precaution to avoid civilian harm,” Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters at the United Nations.

In a report submitted to the U.N. Security Council on Thursday, U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres blacklisted the Saudi-led coalition for its 2016 actions — even as he said it had taken action to improve child protection.

“The kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the coalition reaffirm that it is taking important measures to protect civilians during all military operations to end the suffering of the Yemeni people and minimize the humanitarian cost,” Mouallimi said.

“We reject the inaccurate and misleading information and figures contained in the report and we express our strong reservation with respect to this information,” he said.

The coalition had been briefly added to the U.N. blacklist last year and removed by then-Secretary General Ban Ki Moon pending review. At the time, Ban accused Saudi Arabia of exerting “unacceptable” undue pressure after sources told Reuters that Riyadh threatened to cut some U.N. funding. Saudi Arabia denied this.
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