(19 Dec 2018) Young boys dance to martial drum beats in Yemen, automatic rifles raised above their heads. These are the child soldiers of the Houthis, an underage army groomed by the Iran-linked rebels who control about half of Yemen, locked in a deadly civil war against the country’s government which is supported by Saudi Arabia and the United States.
Despite military supremacy of Arab coalition forces, they agreed to Stockholm Agreement; the right to blood of Yemeni people; & search for a safe way to save the lives of the Yemenis; the Huthi militias did not meet their commitments & continued to violate international truce.
‘In the worst affected areas of Hudaydah, only one in three students is able to continue their education and less than a quarter of all teachers are present in school’ @UNICEF Yemen Rep @RelanoMeritxell #EducationUnderFire #ChildrenUnderAttack
- Even schools have not received from them.
UN secretary-general included Houthison his annual “list of shame” for violations against children during civil war.
One-third of Houthi fighters in Yemen are child soldiers.
Since March 2015, UN had documented 1,702 cases of child recruitment. 67% were attributable to Houthi-Saleh forces may not exceed 13 years of age.
The fighting child in Yemen earns about $ 100 a month in a country where more than half of its population lives below the poverty line.
“Many families send their children to join the Houthi militias in exchange for nearly 50,000 Yemeni riyals, equivalent to US$150 [Dh550]”, Mohammed Askar – Yemeni Minister of Human Rights Mohammed Askar
(Beirut) – The Houthi armed group in Yemen has intensified its recruitment, training, and deployment of children in violation of international law. Since September 2014, when the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, they have increasingly used children as scouts, guards, runners, and fighters, with some children being wounded and killed.
War goes on & its narrative remains. For children, bodies, fire, & sounds are long.
We do not yet know how children returning from fronts will merge with their community.
Professional soldiers returning from war have great difficulties in engaging with their community & integrating them with their families. This dilemma will be double & complex for children; they will return, kill people & blow up other houses, or watch how bodies of their children’s comrades burn.
Even when these children become men, they will transfer their psychological status to their children.
After decades we will have children for child combatants, born to parents who are afraid, suffering from sleep disorders & fantasy, from a sustained fear, & from excessive sensitivity to everything going on around them.
This unstable psychological experience will pass on to their children, which will make dilemma more complicated is that no one thinks about them. People will talk about reconstruction, & will not refer to successive generations ravaged by this war. There is currently, & perhaps in the future, no medical & psychological infrastructure ready to contain this particular psychological problem.
The war is still at its height, & every day number of children who taste it is increasing. We can say that in future, Houthis will rely on more children to go to war, especially after they have killed their ally Saleh, who for a long time has been running out of stock, which means that this serious dilemma is still in its infancy.
Child soldiers have become a familiar sight in Yemeni cities. Caught between religious slogans and local concepts of patriotism, more than 2,500 children have left school to serve at different fronts in the country’s civil war.