United Nations bends only so far for Saudis

HAVING achieved its removal from a United Nations blacklist of countries violating child rights, Saudi Arabia has backed up with a request to the UN to reveal its sources of information on the killing of children in Yemen.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric made it clear yesterday the request would be denied.

"The sources of information that are used in this report and any other report are paramount, especially in a conflict area," he said.

The Saudi coalition fighting the Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen has been blamed by the UN for the war-related deaths of 510 children in the country last year.

Last week, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon "temporarily" removed the Saudi coalition from the blacklist, pending a review of cases, but said he had been pressured into the decision by countries threatening to defund UN programs.

The Saudi envoy to the UN has insisted the coalition's removal from the blacklist is final.