Yemen government says to free 54 children captured in fighting with Houthis

Houthi said while negotiations are underway to reach a solution and put an end to Yemen's conflict, Saudi Arabia is pressing ahead with its deadly military attacks against the country.

Following a vehement protest from Saudi Arabia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday removed the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen from a list of government forces that committed grave violations against children a year ago, pending a joint review of cases.

"It is unprecedented for the United Nations to bow to pressure to alter its own published report on children in armed conflict", remarked Richard Bennett, the representative and head of Amnesty's U.N. office. The UN insists the removal is simply "pending review, " citing Saudi claims of inaccurate data.

Mualami said Saudi Arabia does not accept for the kingdom or any of its Arab coalition allies to be placed on a "bad list". The Saudis had similarly managed to avoid criticism of war crimes in Yemen during the UN General Assembly.

Saudi UN Ambassador Abdullah al-Mouallimi, said he was "deeply disappointed" and "disturbed" by the report, adding the 60 percent figure was "wildly exaggerated".

The UN Secretary General attempted to sidestep the controversy surrounding the move, pointing out that the removal of Saudi Arabia from the list is temporary, and noting the importance that "the report reflects the highest standards of accuracy possible".

The deputy director for global advocacy at Human Rights Watch, Philippe Bolopion, said that the decision to strike the Saudi name from the list equates to "political manipulation", adding that "Yemen's children deserve better".

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Amnesty International decried "blatant pandering", which it said "damages the credibility of the United Nations as a whole".

The war has left some 6,400 people dead, according to the UN.

On Wednesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said some 10,000 of Yemeni children, all less than five years of age, lost their lives last year as a result of "totally avoidable and preventable diseases" such as diarrhea and pneumonia.

The UN has never before removed a state it had already listed, but it was widely criticised for backing off from including Israel in last year's report, following many credible allegations of hundreds of children killed and thousands injured in the 2014 armed conflict in Gaza.

The Council reiterated its confidence in the Arab coalition command, appreciating its sacrifice to restore the legitimacy and salvage the oppressed people in Yemen and expressed support for the legitimate government of President Hadi to restore sovereignty and control over all parts of Yemen.

Human Rights Watch strongly condemned Ban's office for amending the report, noting that the United Nations itself had documented the casualties caused by the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen.