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S. Arabia responsible of killing Yemeni children: US peace activist

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A military intervention in Yemen was launched in 2015 by Saudi Arabia, accompanied by a number of other Arab states. The bombings have claimed lives of thousands Yemeni civilians, including hundreds of children.

Human rights groups have frequently accused Saudi Arabia of violating basic rights of the people of Yemen, as the coalition has bombarded many civilian places, including schools and hospitals.

“It is not ‘hundreds’ of death of children, but many, many, many thousands, because it’s not just the children who’ve died from Saudi bombs, but it’s the huge number of children dying every day from the effects of the bombs through malnutrition and cholera,” Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the women-led group Code Pink, told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) in a recent exclusive interview.

Human rights reports, including that of Amnesty International, based on evidences, show that Saudi Arabia has been using indiscriminate weapons, such as the banned cluster bombs, in Yemen that are resulting in killing and maiming civilians, including children, in farming villages in northern Yemen.

“So the number is astounding and the UN should not change its position, the UN should hold Saudi Arabia responsible for the death of these children.”

The Saudi coalition was added to a UN blacklist for killing and injuring some 700 Yemeni children in 2016 by attacking non-military facilities like hospitals and schools in the war-torn country.

The coalition had been added to the blacklist in 2016, but it was removed from the list after Riyadh pressured then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, threatening that it would withdraw its financial help to the body.

Referring to the retreat by the UN, the American peace activist said, “it was because Saudi Arabia’s blackmailing to stop international community from condemning its crimes.”

Benjamin said that the recent split in the coalition, between UAE and Saudi Arabia, is also hurting the Yemeni people.

Commenting on the role of the US in the conflict between the two sides, she said that the US is providing weapons to both the Saudi Arabia and UAE.

“The largest purchaser of US weapons is Saudi Arabia, and we see how those weapons have been used to commit war crimes.”

The US is furnishing weapons to Emirates, as it has been providing weapons to the oppressor government of Bahrain, she said.

Ironically, the United States says it is supporting democracies and democratic transition in the Middle East and at the same time it sends weapons to some of the most oppressive governments, she noted.

Referring to the support the US is giving to the Saudi coalition, she said that by this position, Washington has put itself in one side of the conflict, instead of playing the role of a mediator.

“The US in Bahrain is also supporting the repressor government that is a minority against the majority of the Bahraini people,” she said.

“The US should not be involved in trying to ratchet up the tensions in the region, rather it should be involved in trying to use diplomatic efforts to end the wars in the region.”

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