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Popular Anger in Yemen over Houthi Attempts to Recruit Youth for Combat - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Taiz – There has been increasing popular anger in Yemen over attempts by the Houthi and Saleh militias to forcefully recruit youths and children to fight among their ranks.

In the province of the militia-held region of al-Mahwit, the militants have upped their violations by forcing children to join their fighters, especially on the volatile Taiz front, local sources told Asharq Al-Awsat.

They spoke of the death of a Houthi commander, known as Abou Mortada, who had arrived in al-Mahwit city from Saada to assume control of the security belt in there.

He was killed along with Abduallah al-Nazili, a director in the investigations office, after the militias sought to recruit members of al-Nazili family, prompting an armed clash.

This led to a backlash by the Houthis, whose militants harassed people on the street and began kidnapping civilians.

Governor of al-Mahwit, Dr. Saleh Hassan Samei, called for supporting the al-Nazilis in the city against the Houthi “barbarism” and “violations.”

The human rights agency in al-Mahwit region had in its latest report said that the Houthi and Saleh militias had committed 451 violations against civilians in May.

This includes the raiding of houses and villages and the kidnapping and recruitment of children, as well as the displacement of family members.

The militias recruited 25 children in al-Mahwit over the past month, forcing them to join the fighting in Taiz, Midi and Nahm.

The al-Mahwit media center interpreted the recruitment of large numbers of children as a sign of the “militia’s bankrupt human force that was eroded after two years of fighting.”

“They were forced to recruit children to make up for the insufficient number of fighters,” it added.