Jeddah-The Arab Coalition Forces to support legitimacy in Yemen handed over 52 children to the legitimate government, after being recruited by the Houthi militia on the Saudi-Yemeni border. Representatives from the Red Cross and UNIICEF attended the event.
The Coalition Forces said in a statement that the children were captured in the battlefields, carrying weapons and participating in planting mines. Therefore, the coalition took the necessary procedures, and moved them to suitable places to protect them. The forces have also called for not involving the children in bloody actions, which violate all the international laws and regulations.
UNICEF spokesman in Yemen Mohammed al Saadi told Asharq Al-Awsat that armed groups have recruited more than 848 children in different fields. He also revealed the death of 934 children and the injury of 1,356 others during a year of conflict. Saadi added that the lack of health care in Yemen led to the death of around 10,000 children of diseases that can be prevented.
The Governor of Yemen’s Ma’rib province Sultan al-Arada said that the recruited children are 12-15 year-olds, and will be handed over to their families unconditionally and in cooperation with the political leadership and the command of the Coalition forces as part of a humanitarian initiative.
Arada accused the Houthis and Saleh’s forces of violating the children’s rights by taking advantages of their hard living conditions. He said the militias are insisting on dragging youth from schools to battlefields and on involving them in an environment of violence to transform them into militants who damage their country’s security and stability.
The governor offered the released children money and school bags and urged their parents not to respond to the militias calls to send their sons to death.