Yemen: Foreign Ministry Accuses UNICEF Official of Bias

Yemen: Foreign Ministry Accuses UNICEF Official of Bias

Sunday, 26 August, 2018 - 09:15
Flames rise from an area struck by rockets in Durayhimi, Yemen (AFP)
Aden - Asharq Al-Awsat
Yemen's foreign ministry confirmed on Saturday that Thursday's attack that killed and injured several civilians in Hodeidah’s al-Durayhimi district was the result of a rocket fired by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

The ministry said in a statement that it was surprised by tweets by UNICEF representative Meritxell Relano on Thursday in which she said “four women and all their 22 children and four other children” were killed in the attack.

The ministry was also shocked with statements by the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock and the UNICEF executive manager, who blamed the attack on the Saudi-led Arab coalition that is backing the Yemeni government against the Houthis.

"Citing information and figures from Houthi-controlled sources, namely the Houthis' self-proclaimed 'Health Ministry', and basing accusations on them violates the principle of impartiality, which the UN and its organs follow," read the statement published by Yemen’s Saba news agency.

The ministry pointed out that the UNICEF representative drew her information from Houthi sources.

“The incident was the result of a rocket attack by the Houthi militias against Durayhimi and investigations are still going on to identify the number of victims,” explained the ministry statement.

It noted that various UN organizations had previously issued several statements drawing information from the Houthi "Health Ministry", Houthi-controlled hospitals and local organizations without contacting the government and Arab coalition to verify this information.

The ministry stressed that it is imperative for the UN organizations to verify information before publishing them.

It reiterated the need to contact the legitimate government, Arab coalition and independent sources so that the UN organizations’ news do not copy those published by the Houthi al-Masirah TV and other affiliated outlets.

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