Yemeni official condemns international silence on Houthi violations of children’s rights

Yemeni children accompanied by their fathers hold weapons during a gathering in Sanaa to show support for the Houthis on September 27, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 November 2018

Yemeni official condemns international silence on Houthi violations of children’s rights

  • He claimed that silence of the international community on violations committed by the militia encouraged the Houthis to kidnap children and put them on the front lines
  • Meanwhile, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar met with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Yemen, Michael Aron, to discuss the latest developments

DUBAI: Yemen’s Minister of State, General Abdul Ghani Jamil, has criticized the international community for what he said was its silence over crimes and violations committed against children by the Houthi militia.

During his speech at a human rights conference held in Marib on “The Role of Media and Human Rights Organizations in Reducing Child Recruitment,” he said the Houthis violated international laws and the humanitarian rights of children by recruiting them as child soldiers in their “losing war.” 

He claimed that silence of the international community on violations committed by the militia encouraged the Houthis to kidnap children and put them on the front lines.

The seminar dealt with the role of the media in raising awareness about the dangers of recruiting children and the importance of exposing those who recruit them.

The Houthi militia, under the guise of educational institutions, change the curricula in order to recruit children to fight in their ranks, according to Jamil.

Since the Houthi militia overthrew the internationally recognized government in Sanaa, Yemen has faced what the United Nations has called the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.

The conflict has had a severe effect on children’s education, wellbeing and health. The aid group, Save the Children, says 85,000 children, younger than five, might have died of hunger or disease in the war.

2019 Relief Plan

In response to the on-going suffering Yemeni people, officials and international aid organizations have discussed ways of bringing relief to the war-torn country. 

Yemen’s Minister of Local Administration and Chairman of the Higher Commission for Relief, Abdulraqeeb Fatah, discussed the relief plan for Yemen in 2019 with the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Program (WFP) Amir Abdulla and the WFP’s Yemen Country Director Stephen Anderson.

The Yemeni minister stressed the importance of relief work and livelihood projects, as well as sustainable development programs and enhancing stability in Yemen’s provinces.

Fatah discussed the possibility of transferring part of the plan’s financial assistance through the Central Bank of Yemen, stressing the importance of strengthening monitoring and follow-up mechanisms to ensure aid is received by those in need.

Abdulla stated that WFP is committed to providing emergency food assistance to address the humanitarian situation in Yemen and to ensure that the spread of famine is averted.  He said the relief plan aimed to provide food assistance to 12 million people per month.

Sustainable Peace

Meanwhile, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar met with the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Yemen, Michael Aron, to discuss the latest developments and efforts to achieve lasting peace.

The vice president said his government would grant the Houthi militia a new opportunity to make the right judgement and to serve Yemen and the interest of its people instead of Iran.

The British ambassador reiterated his country’s support for the internationally recognized government and efforts of the UN envoy, stressing the UK’s keenness to achieve a just and sustainable peace in Yemen.


US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

Updated 3 min 17 sec ago

US reaches ceasefire deal with Turkey in northern Syria

ANKARA: Turkey has agreed to completely end military operations in northern Syria after Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone, US Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday.
Turkey's operation "will be halted entirely on completion" of the pullout, Pence told reporters after talks in Ankara.
"Great news out of Turkey," Donald Trump tweeted, shortly before Pence announced in Ankara that Turkey had agreed to end its military operation once Kurdish fighters withdraw from a safe zone.
"Millions of lives will be saved!" Trump wrote.


Trump's chief of staff had earlier said the president may revoke a White House invitation extended to Erdogan, depending on the outcome of the talks in Ankara.
"It's still on the schedule," Mike Mulvaney told reporters, "but I think that's one of those wait and see things."
"The president's been very clear about what he wants to see out of President Erdogan," he added.