UN’s Ban Ki-moon Admits To Being Blackmailed Into Removing Saudi-Led Coalition In Yemen From Blacklist

“UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has admitted that his decision to remove the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from the organization’s blacklist came after threats from a number of countries. Human rights groups are urging him to backtrack on the decision.

Ban said on Thursday that temporarily removing the coalition from the blacklist was “one of the most painful and difficult decisions I have had to make,” and that it raised “the very real prospect that millions of other children would suffer grievously.”

“Children already at risk in Palestine, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen and so many other places would fall further into despair,” he told reporters.

It comes after a diplomatic source told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the UN was faced with “bullying, threats [and] pressure” from Riyadh, adding that it was “real blackmail.”

The source also said there was a threat of “clerics in Riyadh meeting to issue a fatwa against the UN, declaring it anti-Muslim, which would mean no contacts of OIC [Organisation of Islamic Cooperation] members, no relations, contributions, support, to any UN projects [or] programs.”

A fatwa is a legal opinion used in sharia law. In Saudi Arabia, they can only be issued by the group of top, government-appointed clerics and are sometimes commissioned by the ruling family to back up its political positions.”

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