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UN lost credibility over removing Saudi from blacklist: Commentator

A Yemeni child walks past houses which were destroyed several months ago in a Saudi airstrike in the capital Sana’a, on March 12, 2016. (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Naseer al-Omari, an author and political commentator in New York, about the United Nations coming under fire from various human rights groups for deciding to remove Saudi Arabia from a blacklist of child rights violators despite being blamed for the killing of hundreds of Yemeni children.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.


Press TV: That blacklisting just took place a couple of days ago. It seems the Saudis are literally getting away with murder in Yemen. How was Riyadh able to get quickly off that blacklisting the way it did?

Omari: Well because Riyadh is not alone in it crimes in Yemen. Riyadh is supported by the Obama administration and by the Cameron government. They are sitting in their war rooms, they are directing the war effort, they are helping them have targets in Yemen.

So the pressure on Mr. Ban Ki-moon was I am sure very tremendous but it is a bad day for the UN because if you are Saudi Arabia, you have just given a license to Boko Haram and to ISIS (Daesh) to kill as many children as they wish because there are no consequences and the international community represented by the UN seems to be willing to deal and wheel when it comes to countries that have oil and power.  

Press TV: Now what does this move, the UN reneging on that blacklisting, what does it say about the UN’s credibility now?

Omari: Well it is obvious that the UN has lost its credibility in this instance. This is an organization that is supposed to be above politics and this is an organization that has condemned its own report. Its own report was published saying that 60 percent of the targeting of children in Yemen came from the Saudi coalition and now they have reversed themselves in a shameless fashion, I am sure as a result of pressure not just from Riyadh but also from the backers of Riyadh, the great democracies in the world. This is really a shame and the Amnesty International was right to say that the United Nations has lost its credibility.

Press TV: It is not just that, the UN also documented not just the child deaths, the 60 percent you mentioned, but all the atrocities that the Saudis have been committing over the past 15 months in Yemen, so it is not anything open for question.

Omari: Yes, again this is a country that was attacked by the coalition and the result regardless of the political and strategic reasons, the end result is that 20 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, prices have skyrocketed, the average Yemeni cannot survive in Yemen, so the end result is this is a country that has been brought to its knees under a blockade by the Saudi coalition so it does not matter what the intentions are. The fact of the matter is that the Saudi coalition is killing children. The Saudi coalition is bringing this country to the verge of collapse.

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