UN documents nearly 1,500 child soldiers in Yemen

A boy holds a flag as supporters of the Houthi movement attend a pro-Houthi rally in Sanaa, Yemen Feb. 17. (Reuters Photo)
Updated 28 February 2017
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UN documents nearly 1,500 child soldiers in Yemen

DUBAI: Nearly 1,500 children have been recruited by Yemen’s warring parties, mostly the Shiite Houthi rebels, since March 2015, the UN said on Tuesday.
The UN has verified the recruitment of 1,476 children, all boys, between March 26 , 2015 and Jan. 31, 2017, said a statement by the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani.
“The numbers are likely to be much higher as most families are not willing to talk about the recruitment of their children, for fear of reprisals,” she said.
“Just last week, we received new reports of children who were recruited without the knowledge of their families,” she said, adding that children under 18 are either being “misled or attracted by promises of financial rewards or social status.”
The Iran-backed Houthis and their allies overran the capital Sanaa in 2014 before sweeping south, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee.
The war escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led Arab coalition began a military campaign against the rebels in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
“We remind all parties to the conflict that the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict is strictly forbidden by international human rights law and international humanitarian law,” said Shamdasani.
The recruitment of children under 15 “may amount to a war crime,” she added.
“We urge them to immediately release such children.”
Shamdasani said 4,667 civilians had been killed in the conflict since March 2015, while 8,180 others were wounded.
In total, the UN says that more than 7,500 people have been killed in the war and 40,000 others wounded.


Egypt hands out 11 life sentences for joining Daesh

Updated 53 min 24 sec ago
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Egypt hands out 11 life sentences for joining Daesh

  • Giza criminal court on Monday says the defendants all traveled abroad to fight for Daesh

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 people to life in prison on charges of joining the Daesh group in Syria and Iraq.
Giza criminal court on Monday says the defendants all traveled abroad to fight for Daesh and receive military training.
Two other defendants got 15-year sentences, and another was given three years for the same charges. These include possessing weapons and plotting attacks against security forces and state institutions.
The verdicts can be appealed, and the court has dropped the charges against another defendant.
Egypt is battling its own Daesh-led insurgency in the Sinai Peninsula. That fight intensified in 2013 after the military overthrew an elected but divisive Islamist president.
Militants in Egypt have carried out scores of attacks, mainly targeting security forces and minority Christians.