Houthis slammed for indoctrinating and recruiting children at summer camps

Update Houthis slammed for indoctrinating and recruiting children at summer camps
A 17 year-old boy holds his weapon at the High dam in Marib, Yemen, July 30, 2018. (AP)
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Updated 20 June 2022

Houthis slammed for indoctrinating and recruiting children at summer camps

Houthis slammed for indoctrinating and recruiting children at summer camps
  • Houthis using so-called ‘summer centers’ as training camps

AL-MUKALLA: Yemeni government officials, human rights groups, and child protection advocates have called for international action to force the Iran-backed Houthis to stop indoctrinating and recruiting children for battle.
They warned that those recruited by the militia would become radical fighters who would undermine security in Yemen, the region, and the rest of the world.
Their warnings and demands came as fresh videos leaked from Houthi-managed summer camps showed the militia subjecting children to endurance activities and training them to use arms.
Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani accused the Houthis of extensively enlisting children in areas under their control through annual summer camps where they brainwashed children, gave them military lessons, and later dispatched them to fight government troops.
“Houthi militia escalates child recruitment & pushing them to frontlines amid a surprising & unjustified Intl silence, & failure of human rights & child protection orgs to play their role in condemning this heinous crime, and stopping the mass killing of Yemeni children,” he tweeted, sharing a “shocking” video of children as young as 10 being trained at one of the camps.

He warned that they would go on to fuel violence in Yemen and undermine UN-brokered efforts to reach a sustainable peace settlement in the country.
Last month, the Houthis launched their annual summer camps for children across densely populated areas under their control.
Thousands are said to have joined the camps, where they are taught to correctly recite the Qur'an, receive Islamic lessons, and taught how to confront false ideas from the West, according to the Houthis.
But videos leaked from the camps or those that appear on Houthi–controlled media show the children being prepared for fighting.
In one of the videos, a Houthi man in a classroom teaches children as young as 10 how to use an AK-47. The man can be seen handing the weapon over to children, who take turns trying it out.
Children in other videos are seen pledging their allegiance to the Houthi leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi and vowing to fight his opponents inside and outside the country.
The images of young children carrying weapons or chanting hate slogans sparked outrage among Yemenis who called for the Houthis to be punished for violating international child protection charters and exploiting the UN-brokered truce to swell their ranks with young fighters.
“The Houthis continue to violate the rights of children in Yemen. This Houthi teaches students to use weapons in order to push them to the fronts,” said Yemeni activist Nadia Abdullah.
Yemeni journalist Ahmed Al-Mosibly called the Houthi summer camps “time bombs” that prepared some people to kill others and serve Iran’s agendas in Yemen. “Unfortunately, there are still parties inside and outside the country that are not well aware of the danger of the Iranian expansionist project,” he tweeted.
Yemeni journalist Ammar Zabal, who was a media officer at a Saudi-funded child soldier rehabilitation center in Marib, met young Houthi fighters.
He told Arab News the influence of Houthi indoctrination lessons had made some children hate the community and the Yemenis who opposed the movement.
“The influence of the toxic Houthi thoughts on those children is huge,” Zabal said.
Ahmed Al-Qurashi, director of the SEYAJ Organization for the Protection of Children, told Arab News that child recruitment in Yemen had accelerated during the past few months despite the truce and extensive efforts to strike a deal to end the war. He warned that the child soldiers recruited today would become veteran fighters who would undermine regional and international security.
“The increasing recruitment of children in Yemen is evidence that all initiatives and proposals to protect children have failed. It also shows the failure of the UN initiatives, including an agreement with the Houthis regarding stopping the recruitment of children in fighting,” Al-Qurashi said.


Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes
Updated 16 August 2022

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes

Tunisia’s defense minister visits soldiers wounded in Mount Salloum clashes
  • 2 soldiers were wounded in last Friday’s clashes between army units and terrorists

DUBAI: Tunisia’s minister of defense, Imed Memmiche, visited two soldiers who were wounded in last Friday’s clashes between army units and terrorists in Mount Salloum in Kasserine. 
 
Memmiche went to the Tunis military hospital on Monday to commend the men for their ‘patriotism and sense of duty’, according to the Ministry of Defense’s statement released on state news agency TAP.


UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222
Updated 16 August 2022

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222

UAE’s Dar Al Ber Society donates over $56m on global, local aid projects in 20222
  • The non-profit organization has donated to 22,517 projects so far this year

Dar Al Ber Society has spent over $56 million during the first half of 2022 on charitable and sustainable development projects that have benefitted 2.9 million people worldwide and in the UAE, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Monday. 

The non-profit organization has donated to 22,517 projects so far this year, according to WAM. 

More than $13.6 million were donated to a total of 8,901 projects in the first quarter of this year, while $14,128,257 were directed to 13,616 projects in the second quarter, the CEO and Managing Director of Dar Al Ber SocietyMuhammad Suhail Al-Muhairi said. 

Some of these humanitarian projects have been completed while others are underway, he added. 

The Dar Al Ber Society helped build 2,144 mosques – 904 in the first quarter and 1,240 in the second quarter. 

A total of 8,121 water-saving projects were also built with the help of the donations, Al-Muhairi said.

The organization helped set up 4,929 projects for families, as well as launch 5,285 medical projects, according to WAM. 

Dar Al Ber also implemented its seasonal projects in 37 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe, in cooperation with 32 of its partners in the respective countries.

Represented by the Department of Zakat in the Projects and Zakat Sector, Dar Al Ber Society donated more than $11.6 million in local aid to 346,541 beneficiaries.


Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis
Updated 16 August 2022

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister meets chargée d'affaires at US Embassy in Tunis
  • The meeting represented “positive and constructive dialogue that reflects the strength of bilateral relations”

DUBAI: Tunisia’s foreign minister discussed ways to rectify the democratic process in the country during a meeting with the chargée d'affaires at the US Embassy in Tunis on Monday. 
Othman Jerandi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad, met with Natasha Franceschi, chargée d'affaires at the US Embassy, to step up consultations between the two countries, Tunisia’s state news agency TAP reported. 
The meeting represented “positive and constructive dialogue that reflects the strength of bilateral relations,” the Foreign Affairs Department said in a statement.
Upcoming bilateral events, such as the Joint Military Commission, were also discussed at the meeting, according to the same statement.
During the meeting, Jerandi welcomed the ties between the two countries, while Franceschi stressed the US’ keenness to develop partnerships with Tunisia in all sectors.
Franceschi also presented America’s initiative to host the US-Africa Leaders Summit scheduled for Dec. 13-15 in Washington.


Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three
Updated 16 August 2022

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three

Jordan police bust crystal meth lab in Amman, arrest three
  • Similar police operations were also undertaken in Zarqa, northeast of Amman

DUBAI: Three people were arrested after Jordanian police on Monday raided a house in East Amman that was being used as a crystal meth laboratory.

The raid was carried out after agents of the anti-narcotics department received a tip off.

The officers did not find the suspect in his home, but discovered and subsequently seized chemicals used for manufacturing methamphetamine.

The man was arrested later during a follow-up operation, where he also said he had an accomplice who worked with him to produce and sell the narcotics.

In a similar effort in Jordan’s campaign to crack down on the illegal drug trade, police raided a chalet west of Al-Balqa and arrested a man found in possession of marijuana and as well as a firearm on suspicion after he tried to flee.

Similar police operations were also undertaken in Zarqa, northeast of Amman, where suspects have been arrested while in possession of illegal drugs and narcotics.


EU ‘studying’ Iran response on restarting nuclear deal

EU ‘studying’ Iran response on restarting nuclear deal
Updated 58 min 47 sec ago

EU ‘studying’ Iran response on restarting nuclear deal

EU ‘studying’ Iran response on restarting nuclear deal
  • No details offered on the substance of Iran’s response
  • But Tehran suggested it still would not take the EU-mediated proposal

BRUSSELS/DUBAI: The EU said Tuesday it was “studying” Iran’s reply to a proposed draft agreement aimed at reviving a 2015 accord designed to curb Tehran’s nuclear program.

A spokesperson for EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell — who coordinated talks to bring Iran and the US back into the deal — said the Iranian response was received late Monday.

“We are studying it and are consulting with the other JCPOA participants and the US on the way ahead,” the spokesperson said, referring to the formal title of the nuclear pact.

Iran earlier said it submitted a “written response” to what has been described as a final roadmap to restore its tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency offered no details on the substance of it response, but suggested that Tehran still wouldn’t take the European Union-mediated proposal, despite warnings there would be no more negotiations.

“The differences are on three issues, in which the United States has expressed its verbal flexibility in two cases, but it should be included in the text,” the IRNA report said. “The third issue is related to guaranteeing the continuation of (the deal), which depends on the realism of the United States.”

Tehran under hard-line President Ebrahim Raisi has repeatedly tried to blame Washington for the delay in reaching an accord. Monday was reported to have been a deadline for their response.

From Washington, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US would share its own response to the EU.

“We do agree, however, with (the EU’s) fundamental point, and that is that what could be negotiated has been negotiated,” Price said.

He added that Iran had been making “unacceptable demands” going beyond the text of the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw Iran drastically limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.

“If Iran wants these sanctions lifted, they will need to alter their underlying conduct,” Price said. “They will need to change the dangerous activities that gave rise to these sanctions in the first place.”