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Houthis Use Yemeni Child Soldiers to Fuel Ongoing War

Houthis Use Yemeni Child Soldiers to Fuel Ongoing War

Monday, 9 March, 2020 - 10:00
Children waiting for their turn at a charity in Sanaa (EPA)

In light of recent escalations in al-Jawf, Nihm and Ad Dali fronts, Houthi leaders intensified their local recruitment operations in areas under the group’s control. According to human rights sources, they mostly targeted minors and school students.

Today, instead of going to school and having fun with their peers, Yemeni children are exploited by Houthis who have been dedicated to recruiting child soldiers and using them as cannon fodder.

In this context, the Yemeni government warned against the coup's doubling of recruitment among children.

Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani said Houthis are dispatching children to battlefronts to compensate for the massive losses its militia incurred.

In an official statement on Sunday, he accused Houthis of sending hundreds of Yemeni children to their deaths daily.

Eryani confirmed that recent data published by the Yemeni Army shows that over 800 Houthi elements have been killed in battlefronts in Nihm and al-Jawf. Most of those killed were child soldiers.

He also called on the international community to place pressure on Houthi militias to stop their Iran-imported approach of using children as fuel for war.

Local sources in Hajjah, Al Mahwit, Dhamar and Ibb governorates collectively confirmed the disappearance of dozens of Yemeni children who are suspected to have been lured into Houthi recruitment camps.

Dhamar locals, in the past few weeks, reported the disappearance of dozens of children who are aged less than eight.

The Permanent Representative of Yemen to the United Nations, Abdullah Ali Fadhel al-Saadi, accused the militias of continuing to recruit children into their ranks, stressing that the number of child soldiers recruited reached more than 30,000.

The accusation was made in a speech al-Saadi gave last week at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), during which he called for a review of the mechanisms for monitoring and controlling violations against children in Houthi-run areas.

He highlighted the importance of cooperation between the Yemeni government and UNICEF, especially in implementing the action plan designed to end and prevent the use of children in the armed conflict signed between the government and the United Nations in 2014.

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