Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Saleh-Houhi Insurgents Accused of Recruiting 15,000 Children in Yemen | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Young Houthi insurgents sit on the side of a road as they secure a street near the United Nations offices. Reuters file photo

Riyadh- A report published by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Thursday accused Houthi and Saleh militias of increasing their forced recruitment of Yemeni tribal children by bribing their elders with cash and jobs to lure children to the battlefronts without the knowledge of their families.

Local observers affirmed that 15,000 children recruited by Houthis are participating in the fighting and in planting mines. The children are being used as human shields and guards at checkpoints.

The observers pointed out that in addition to recruiting Yemeni orphans, the militias have resorted to threats to force many Yemeni families to send their children to the battlefronts.

The observers have expressed surprise at the silence of international and human rights organizations at the atrocities committed by Houthi insurgents against the children of Yemen, despite the spread of pictures showing these children working with different militia groups and at battlefronts.

Amnesty International has said that Houthis are actively recruiting boys as young as 15 to fight on the frontlines of the conflict. Some households in the suburbs revealed that the number of children being mobilized is increasing as a result of the economic crisis and the strike of teachers.

“It is appalling that Houthis are taking children away from their parents and their homes, stripping them of their childhood to put them in the line of fire where they could die,” said Samah Hadid, Deputy Director at Amnesty International’s Beirut regional office.

Rights Radar for human rights in the Arab world revealed that since September 21, 2014, when the insurgents took over the capital Sana’a, and until March 2017 the number of detainees and captives in the prisons of Houthi and Saleh militias had exceeded 16,800.

The organization mentioned in its report that the detainees are deprived of their humans rights and many of them are tortured.

It added that the militias have established 484 new prison camps in addition to dozens of public prisons in Sana’a and provinces that fall under their control.