UNICEF announced on Saturday that children belong in schools and not on the battle front.
Juliette Touma, head of the organization’s regional office, expressed to Asharq Al-Awsat her great concern over the recruitment of child soldiers in Yemen.
She made her statement in wake of Yemen coup government minister Hassan Zeid’s demand that schools be halted and that children and teachers be recruited for the battles in their country.
He said on his Facebook page that the additional fighters will help sway the battle in their favor.
Touma voiced her concern with the growing number of child fighters in Yemen, saying that she is not responding to any statement in particular.
Yemeni rights researcher Barra Shiban told Asharq Al-Awsat: “Hassan Zeid represents the epitome of those who view the Yemeni people as a source of fighters and defenders of the Houthis’ alleged right to rule.”
“They do not seek a national state, but one affiliated to Iran’s Wilayet al-Faqih,” he added.