Houthis bombing mosques, schools and a future

Houthi militia ride on the back of a truck. (Reuters)
Updated 28 January 2017

Houthis bombing mosques, schools and a future

ADEN: Houthi militias and troops loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been bombing mosques and schools in the Yemeni provinces since their coup against the legitimate government.
Houthis, accused of taking the country decades back to an era of ignorance, are denying the Yemenis a peaceful life and access to education.
Official statistics show that after their emergence as a militant group reportedly backed by Iran, Houthis have bombed a staggering number of mosques and schools in some provinces. They are turning some structures into barracks or weapons stores.
In a recent meeting with Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh in Riyadh, Dr. Ahmed Attia, Yemeni minister of Endowments and Guidance, said that “Houthi militias and Saleh loyalists bombed more than 299 mosques, and 24 others were severely damaged, besides turning at least 146 mosques into military barracks and storage of weapons.”
Official Yemeni sources said Houthis and Saleh’s loyalists destroyed 1,700 schools since they started insurgency in several provinces in March 2015.
Yemeni Minister of Education Abdullah Meles said recently that about 2,000 schools built under Basic Education Development Program and funded by the US, the EU and other countries, were destroyed in less than two years.
In the capital Sanaa, the media center of the Yemeni revolution, a non-governmental civil media center issued a report that stated that Shiite militias committed 279 violations against the educational process in the capital during the year 2016 only.
The report said that the “violations included five key areas: Students, teachers, schools, educational institutions and curricula.”
“The pace of violations increased during the last three months of 2016, to coincide with protests by the staff of educational institutions against delays in receiving salaries,” the report said.
It also stated that students and teachers were forced to pay money, starting this month, to support the war effort and of the Central Bank, after it was transferred to Aden.
Students’ parents expressed surprise at the request for money from the management of schools their children are attending.
Eyewitnesses said Houthi gunmen visit schools to urge students to donate to the Central Bank and the “war effort.”


Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

Updated 03 August 2020

Lebanon’s foreign minister resigns amid economic crisis

  • Nassif Hitti submits resignation to the prime minister and leaves government house without making any comments
  • Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Hassan Diab’s government

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s foreign minister resigned on Monday, becoming the first Cabinet minister to defect from his post amid the severe economic and financial crisis striking the country.
Minister Nassif Hitti’s submitted his resignation to the prime minister and left the government house without making any comments.
A career diplomat, Hitti became foreign minister in January as part of Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s government. He was was reportedly unhappy with the government’s performance and lack of movement on promised reforms.
Local media reports said he also was angered by Diab’s criticism of French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian following his visit to Beirut last month. Diab had said Le Drian “did not bring anything new” and was not properly informed about the reforms implemented by the Lebanese government.
It was not immediately clear whether his resignation would be accepted and whether one of the other ministers would assume his responsibilities in caretaker capacity until a new minister is appointed.
Hitti’s resignation is a blow to Diab’s government, which has struggled to implement reforms amid an unprecedented financial crisis and the coronavirus pandemic.