Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid pleads with international community to end child soldier recruitment

Yemeni children carrying weapons take part in a gathering organized by Houthis, in the capital Sanaa, June 18, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 04 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia’s Prince Khalid pleads with international community to end child soldier recruitment

  • Ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said the Houthi militia's use of child soldiers in Yemen was a 'Heinous crime'
  • The militia have inducted 18,000 children into their ranks since  the conflict began

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia on Thursday called for a global initiative to combat the recruitment of child soldiers.

Ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman, said the Arab coalition fighting in Yemen to support the internationally recognised government, regularly encountered children who had been recruited by the Houthi militia. 

In a series of heartfelt tweets, Prince Khalid said the international community and media had ignored the Houthis’ daily violation of children’s rights.

“The recruitment of children by the Iran backed Houthis is a heinous crime that we can no longer tolerate,” he said.

“Houthis force recruitment from schools and playgrounds, threaten/terrorize families who refuse, and proceed to use them as cannon fodder.”

“KSA calls for a serious sustained global initiative to combat the recruitment of children in battles; especially in Yemen. It must end once and for all.”

The Iran backed Houthis, who sparked the Yemen conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014, have routinely used child soldiers during the war. 

The militia have inducted 18,000 children into their ranks since the conflict began, a senior Al Houthi military official told AP recently.

The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre has run a series of initiatives to help rehabilitate the children and return them to school.

“Kids often come in shocked by the horrors of war, where they find themselves between death, gunfire, and bodily remains,” Prince Khalid said. 

He added that Saudi Arabia had helped treat hundreds of young Yemenis. 

 


Saudi crown prince meets with Dubai crown prince

Updated 24 min 48 sec ago
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Saudi crown prince meets with Dubai crown prince

JEDDAH: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, met on Sunday to review the "brotherly historical relations" between the Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
They also discussed the promising opportunities for cooperation in various fields, SPA said.
The meeting was attended by top officials from both sides.
Before the meeting, King Salman received the Dubai crown prince at Al-Safa Palace in Makkah and had iftaar together, along with other officials including  Kuwait’s National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim and the chief of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais. 
King Salman is spending the last ten days of Ramadan in the holy city of Makkah.