The Government of Yemen said that the UN report placing its backer, the Arab Coalition, on a blacklist for the deaths and injuries of children in the country's conflict was fed "misleading material provided by one side; the putschists."
In a press statement on Friday, the Government expressed its dismay at and denouncementof the"UN Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict."
"The [Yemeni] state is striving to protect its people, and avoids recruitment of child soldiers, cooperates with the UN andimplements its resolutions and international laws," read the statement.
Excerpts from the statement:
"We express our dismay at and denouncement of the content of the [UN] report, which equates the legitimate state and the armed coup militias.
"The [Yemeni] state is striving to protect its people, and avoids recruitment of child soldiers, cooperates with the UN and implements its resolutions and international, the latest of which is UNSC resolution no. 2216."
"It is also not acceptable or logical to blacklist the Saudi-led Coalition backing the Yemeni government depending on information and reports fed by armed militias condemned as a rebel group in UNSC resolutions issued under Chapter VII."
"It should be remembered that the Saudi-led Coalition is implementing the binding UNSC resolutions, on the international community's behalf, to preserve the formidability and status of the this international institution (UNSC) as an authority that the world should refer to and countries feel secure with and trustful of with regards to their peace and stability."
"More important than drafting legislations and issuing resolutions is their implementation. And it is not acceptable to put the Coalition - which assumed its responsibility in implementing the UNSC resolutions under Chapter VII- in one[(shame] list with an armed militia that rebelled against the local and international legitimacy."
"That [blacklisting move] contradicts the report itself which also acknowledges that the Coalition has taken measures to improve children's protection."
"It is worth noting that the report ignores the prime cause of Yemeni children's suffering; the fact that the armed militias, with a clear proven support from Iran, had rebelled against the state and ignited a war to impose their agenda with the force of weapons against the vast majority of the Yemeni people [in 2015]. "
"Everything that has happened since then is because of the putschists determination not to comply with the local and international will and the continuity with exercising the most heinous of abuses and war crimes and killing against the Yemenis."
"The problem is clear and is not that complicated. There is an armed coup that has to be put to an end in respect of the will of the Yemeni people and the UN resolutions. To be put to end in the way those rebels like.
Either peacefully by implementing the UNSC resolution or militarily by victory. Any catastrophic humanitarian suffering is caused by the coupers' continuity to defy and reject the peaceful solution."
"Of the many attention-drawing falsifications in the report is the allegation that Saudi Arabia handed over 52 children back to the Yemeni government with UN [brokerage] efforts. This information is absolutely false. The Yemeni government received them from Saudi Arabia and the UN was invited to just attend the [handover]."
"To reinforce the government's seriousness in considering facts and dismissing misleading information and figures (provided by one side, the putchists), we call upon the UN to provide us with the names of the killed, injured and abducted children, and to identify the sites where they were fallen. The report provides only figures about them. Facts are also required to preserve the rights of their families, as all information need to be verified."
"To right up facts [….] the government notes the following:
1- The UN continues to depend - for its information – on CSOs affiliate to the Saleh-Houthi militias which deliberately mislead the international verdict and seek by all vehement means to re-categorize the ongoing crisis from political to humanitarian.
2- The UN depends on the records of the "Ministry of Health" and hospitals run by the Houthimilitia as sources of information. The militiaoften deliberately fake and exaggerate numbers, and give to the UN, to achieve their political gains.
3- The poor or lack of representation of international organizations in the government-held parts make these organizations liable to misleading for depending on one-sided sources, unreliable sources. The UN continues to ignore the government's repeated calls [for relocation to the part of the country under its control].
4- The presence of the international organizations in Sana'a make them subject to the intimidation of the de facto authority, the Saleh-Houthi militias.[ ….].
5- It has been conclusively proven to the government [..] that the Houthi militias have been involved in counterfeiting 100 death certificates [for allegedly 100 children victims of coalition strikes] in just one busted case of forgery. Something that casts doubts around all allegations and figures the militias provide.
6- As the UN reports confirm, the Houthissystematically conscript child fighters, field them in the battles and, once they get killed, they turn the blame on the Arab Coalition. It is obvious here that the crime originated in the recruitment.
7- Upon the arrival of bodies of killed child fighters to the Houthi rebels' controlled health centers, records are fabricated that they are civilian children killed in Coalition strikes.
8- [The UN] does not refer to the records of the government for authentic figures about killed children and the cause of their deaths.
9- The militias maintain a policy of exaggeration with regards to the figures and stories that trigger international concern around children dying of "Coalition strikes" and cholera. They aim at inducing the international community to press the Arab Coalition into halting its military operation against them, and to legitimize their takeover of power.
It has been evident to the international community in a number of these allegations that the figures were not accurate, if only simple checks are made. The alleged toll of "airstrike victims" matches the toll of cholera fatalities.
10- The report made only a cursory mention of the Saudi-led Coalition's "measures to improve child protection" without referring to the Coalition'srelief aid for the most vulnerable, rehab of child soldiers and the many programs that King Salman Centerfor Relief launched to alleviate the suffering of Yemeni children.
Having said all the above, the government of Yemen calls upon the UN Security Council to revise the report, take the names of the Yemeni government and its backing Arab Coalition off the blacklist, andstay away from misleadingsources of information. In order to preserve the credibility of the UN and the UN Security Council, and to respect their own role and duty in considering facts only."
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