Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children in 2017

Houthi milita recruited over 900 child soldiers in 2017. (AFP)
Updated 07 March 2018
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Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children in 2017

DUBAI: The Iran-backed Houthi militia recruited more than 900 children into their ranks in 2017, according to the executive director of the Yemeni coalition Monitoring Human Rights Violations Mutahar Al-Baziji, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
Al-Bazaiji said in a statement that the forced recruitment of children was accompanied by many violations, most notably the denial of education and sexual exploitation by older recruits.
Many children were also killed while participating in military actions.
“Childhood tragedy in Yemen is increasing every day as more violations against children at the hands of militias and terrorist organizations are being witnessed,” Al-Baziji said in a speech at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Wednesday.
“Reports from Yemeni civil society organizations indicate that one-third of Houthi militia fighters are children, noting that the coalition documented 902 cases of child soldier recruitment by the Houthis in 2017,” he added
The United Nations, the Human Rights Council, international organizations and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations called for the protection of children in Yemen in the presence of armed groups, led by the Houthi militia.


France’s Macron sends senior diplomat to Iran to defuse US tensions

Updated 15 min 33 sec ago
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France’s Macron sends senior diplomat to Iran to defuse US tensions

  • Emmanuel Bonne held ‘high-level meetings’ Wednesday in Tehran
  • The French presidency refused to say whom the top diplomatic adviser met

PARIS: President Emmanuel Macron sent his top diplomatic adviser to Iran this week as part of European efforts to defuse tensions between Tehran and Washington, the French presidency said Thursday.
The adviser, Emmanuel Bonne, held “high-level meetings” Wednesday in Tehran, “with the aim of contributing to the de-escalation of tensions in the region,” Macron’s office said.
The presidency refused to say whom Bonne met, adding only that he left Tehran on Wednesday evening.
The strains between Washington and Tehran increased Thursday with Iran’s announcement that it had shot down a US “spy drone” that violated Iranian airspace near the Strait of Hormuz.
The United States has yet to respond.
The incident marks the latest escalation in tensions following last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, which the United States blamed on Iran.
Tehran has denied any involvement.
Tensions between the longtime foes, who have had no relations since the hostage crisis that followed the 1979 Islamic revolution, have increased sharply since US President Donald Trump last year abandoned a landmark 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-imposed sanctions.
Macron, who is traveling to a G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka on June 28-29, will “have contact with the main players” in the standoff, his office said.
Before that he will pay an official visit to Japan on June 26-27, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who recently traveled to Iran to try mediate in the crisis.
Abe met with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who categorically refused to hold talks with Trump.
The EU is under pressure from Tehran to try salvage the 2015 deal, with Iran threatening to breach its nuclear enrichment limits.
On Tuesday, Macron urged Tehran to be “patient and responsible.”