Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Report: Houthi Militias Killed over 393 Children in 48 Months | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Media ID: 55371451

Riyadh- Militiamen in Yemen running a nationwide putsch have killed over 393 children in the last two years, 273 of whom had fallen victim to indiscriminate bombardment and sniper waves.

Yemen’s governorate of Taiz, situated near Mocha port on the Red Sea, was the most to suffer from children casualties by Houthi open fire.

On one hand Arab Coalition forces relentlessly seek to salvage children who had been recruited by Houthi militants and deployed near Saudi borders. After their capture from insurgency ranks, coalition bodies and authorities reunite the child soldiers with their families. On the other hand, Iran-allied Houthis have brutally killed minors in several Yemeni provinces.

An official report issued by the Yemeni coalition monitoring and documentation team dedicated to record human rights violations, said most of the children killed by insurgency sniper fire were engaged in noncombatant activities and environments like their homes or helping their families transfer water from charity tanks allocated for water distribution, or when leaving schools.

According to the report, Houthi militias and armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh have overstepped the rules of engagement when it comes to impunity of non-armed civilians— insurgency fire has deliberately targeted civilian areas. International human rights laws demand that warring parties distinguish between combatants and civilians when staging attacks.

Deliberately directing attacks against civilians constitutes a crime punishable by international law.

The paper documented the death of 393 children, including 273 killed by indiscriminate attacks and direct sniper fire. More so, six children were killed in attacks by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

Child abuse violations defying UN Security Council prohibitions outlawing the killing or mutilating of children, recruitment and use of children as soldiers, sexual violence against children and attacks on schools and hospitals all have been committed by insurgency militias in Yemen.

The denial of humanitarian assistance to children and the abduction of children, other serious crimes, have also been accounted for on Yemeni soil.

All the more, the report cited the repercussions of the Houthis’ forced displacement of children in Yemen, noting its negative effects on psychology and living conditions. Accounts of inhumane and widespread child labor also indicate that Yemeni children today stand to be made into cannon fodder and victims of future violence.