Local sources in Yemen’s Ibb governorate said that Houthi militias have resumed targeting children in the governorate and other areas under their control. Houthi militias have been accused of kidnapping and forcibly recruiting minors.
Over the last two months in Ibb, the phenomenon of disappearing children has been on the rise. Residents who have lost their children accuse the Houthi group and its leaders of standing behind the abduction of dozens of minors.
They are suspected of using kidnapped children as cannon fodder or as beggars that collect money off the streets.
Ibb-based sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that more than five children have disappeared under suspicious circumstances since the start of August.
Among the missing minors are Nazeeh Alli Shoufar, aged 16, and Ossama Obeid Mohsen, aged 14.
Shoufar was kidnapped on August 12 near his house in al-Sobol neighborhood in downtown Ibb, while Mohsen was kidnapped from near the central market on the same day.
The latest disappearances are linked to a series of kidnappings witnessed by Ibb over the past period. Dozens of students and children have been abducted from streets and schools.
Some of the disappeared kids later show up either in battlefronts or Houthi militia prisons.
Anti-Houthi security sources in Ibb revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the number of kidnappings in the last two months alone have reached over 68 cases.
According to sources, seven of the 68 kidnapped children had recently arrived to central Ibb coming from towns located on the governorates' outer skirts. Houthis had been pressuring their families to participate at one of the group’s events.
Shortly after the event was over, parents of the kidnapped children reported to Houthi apparatuses about their children’s disappearance. Houthi indifference towards the reports suggests that Houthi leaders are behind the forced disappearances.