UNICEF: Half a million students drop out in Yemen war

Yemeni children present documents in order to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 27 March 2018
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UNICEF: Half a million students drop out in Yemen war

SANAA: Close to half a million Yemeni children have dropped out of school since 2015, UNICEF said Tuesday.
That brings the number of children without access to education to two million, as minors are increasingly recruited in the fighting, according to the UN children’s agency.
“An entire generation of children in Yemen faces a bleak future because of limited or no access to education,” said Meritxell Relano, UNICEF’s Yemen representative.
“The journey to school has also become dangerous as children risk being killed en route,” Relano said.
“Fearing for their children’s safety, many parents choose to keep their children at home. The lack of access to education has pushed children and families to dangerous alternatives, including early marriage, child labor and recruitment into the fighting.”
At least 2,419 children have been recruited by armed groups since 2015, according to UNICEF.
Another 4.5 million risk losing access to public schools as teachers have not been paid in more than a year amid a crisis that has seen Yemen — long the Arab world’s poorest country — reach the brink of official famine.


Moroccans protest prison sentences of anti-poverty activists

Updated 21 April 2019
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Moroccans protest prison sentences of anti-poverty activists

  • Security forces kept watch as participants sang, “The people want the detainees released” and “Long live Rif.”

RABAT: Thousands of demonstrators in Morocco are condemning prison sentences given to the leader of the Hirak Rif anti-poverty movement and dozens of other activists.
The demonstration brought one of the main avenues of the Moroccan capital, Rabat, to a standstill on Sunday. Security forces kept watch as participants sang, “The people want the detainees released” and “Long live Rif.”
Hirak leader Nasser Zefzafi was sentenced to the maximum prison term of 20 years for threatening state security. An appeals court upheld his sentence and those of other activists this month.
Rif is the struggling region in northern Morocco where the Hirak movement was born in 2016. The movement demands development and job creation for the region.
Families, human rights organizations and left-wing parties are demanding the imprisoned activists’ immediate release.