Houthi militia ‘using children as human shields’

This file photo taken on June 18, 2017 shows Yemeni children carrying weapons as they take part in a gathering organised by Shiite Houthi rebels in the capital Sanaa. (AFP)
Updated 07 July 2018

Houthi militia ‘using children as human shields’

  • Houthi militias’ looting more than 500 relief shipments, stopping the arrival of 65 ships loaded with relief items
  • Saudi Arabia's KSRelief has sent specialized medical teams to Hodeidah

RIYADH: Women and children are being coerced to join the fighting in Yemen for use as human shields, a meeting in Geneva organized by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights has been told.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) was invited as a leading organization in humanitarian assistance in Yemen. A delegation from the center took part in the meeting led by Yemeni Minister of Human Rights, Mohammed Mohsen Askar.
The KSRelief delegation was headed by Dr. Abdullah Saleh Al-Moallem, director of medical and environmental assistance at the agency.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News on his return from Geneva on Saturday, Al-Moallem said the Yemeni minister highlighted that the Houthi militias’ violations of international law, including denying children humanitarian assistance, looting more than 500 relief shipments, stopping the arrival of 65 ships loaded with relief items, destroying more than 180 hospitals and medical facilities, and detaining 489 children at checkpoints and coercing them to join the fighting.
Askar urged the international community to put pressure on the Houthi militants to begin peace negotiations and halt the “forceful recruitment of children and women for war purposes.”
Speaking at the meeting, Al-Moallem highlighted medical efforts by KSRelief to help women and children.
The agency recently launched rapid response efforts to help distressed people in war-torn Yemen with three specialized medical teams delivering treatment in Marib, Taiz and Aden.
The medical team included doctors, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, and specialists in spinal surgery, ENT and cosmetic surgery.
The medical assistance campaign began providing medical equipment, supplies as well as surgical theater equipment and sets to the hospitals in three places.
Al-Moallem said the medical mission would also train Yemeni doctors and support staff as well as upgrade the health system in Yemen.
KSRelief has sent specialized medical teams to Hodeidah.
“We are offering treatment to all without discrimination, but our priority is women and children,” Al-Moallem said. “We are funding government hospitals with $126 million to provide medical supplies and medicines,” he said.
Al-Moallem also highlighted the importance of the Saudi Project to Dismantle Mines in Yemen (Masam) launched recently.

Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, president of the Saudi Ports Authority

Updated 21 min 51 sec ago

Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb, president of the Saudi Ports Authority

Saad Abdul Aziz Al-Khalb has been president of the Saudi Ports Authority (MAWANI) since 2018.

On Thursday, he and other officials greeted the first group of Sudanese Hajj pilgrims to arrive in the Kingdom by sea.

Al-Khalb said the operational plan prepared for this year’s Hajj aims to receive 22,000 pilgrims through Jeddah Islamic Port, a 37 percent increase from 2018.

The authority, in cooperation with various government sectors and agencies, aims to ensure Hajj pilgrims’ comfort during their stay in the Kingdom.

Jeddah Islamic Port will receive pilgrims until Aug. 6, and more than 266 personnel will be involved in overseeing this year’s Hajj season.

These workers will include maritime pilots, ship captains, technical and operational supervisors, security teams and technical affairs managers.

Al-Khalb holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

He served as vice chairman of the Saudi Civil Aviation Holding Co., and was a member of the board of directors at the General Authority of Civil Aviation.

Al-Khalb served as deputy transport minister from 2017 to 2018. He also held several senior positions in the private sector. Most recently, he was CEO of the Saudi British Bank (SABB).

He has more than 25 years’ experience, having started his career at a number of specialized companies such as the Advanced Electronics Co. and Schlumberger, an oilfield services firm.