The Muslim World League (MWL) on Saturday criticized the methodology and findings of a UN report on children in armed conflict.
The report commended the Saudi-led coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen for its actions to improve child protection, and for its cooperation with the UN.
However, the report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which was submitted to the Security Council last week, also blamed the coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels for causing the deaths of children in the conflict in Yemen.
The MWL said that, on behalf of the Muslim world and the many organizations, Islamic and non-Islamic, with which it was affiliated, it rejected the findings of the report.
It pointed out that in August, the UN itself had applauded the work undertaken by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) and the center for the rehabilitation of Yemeni children.
The MWL said the documentation in the UN report failed to reach international standards, and the report had failed to determine liability with a proper investigation.
“The Houthi militias have thwarted relief efforts between 2015 and 2017 — 65 aid ships, 124 relief convoys, 628 trucks, 5,500 food baskets and 6,000 bags of flour were looted by the militias during this period,” the MWL said.
“Furthermore, between 2015 and 2017, Houthi militias have carried out numerous attacks against many UN and other relief organizations and aid workers in Sanaa, Taiz, Hajjah, Al-Hudeidah, Ibb and Aden. They have committed acts of murder and kidnapping and blocked entry to, looted and forcibly closed aid offices. This has been part of the Iran-backed Houthis’ crimes against the Yemeni people since they hijacked legitimacy in the country.
“The UN secretary-general’s report should have drawn on the apparent physical evidence of all the tragedies and challenges, and the UN must reveal the truth about those who committed those crimes and support the coalition in overcoming the challenges.”
The MWL said the coalition was “more than glad to restore happiness and stability in Yemen and ensure its children’s safety and prosperous future. The coalition has taken upon itself to unite Yemen under one legitimate government. It sees the beauty of the country’s diversity and believes it is the source of its wealth, prosperity and development, and aims to renew its political, intellectual and social unity under an independent, civilized government that enjoys sovereignty.”