01/12/2017, 10.12
YEMEN - SAUDI ARABIA

Conflict in Yemen, 1,400 children killed and up to 2 thousand schools destroyed

This is the dramatic toll of the conflict, which has also left "more than 2140" children with minor injuries. UNICEF pleas that schools should be "zones of peace" and not targets of attacks. A renewed appeal for the protection of children. Yemeni institution for children against the Saudi air raids, responsible for "war crimes".

 

Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 1,400 children have died and up to 2 thousand schools are unusable: this is the tragic toll of the war in Yemen traced by the UN Children's Fund, during a conference that was held in capital, Sana'a. UNICEF Representative in the Arab country, the theater of a bloody conflict in March 2015, Meritxell Relano, reported that there are "more than 1,400 dead children" while the UN experts counted "more than 2140 wounded" among the smallest.

"At least 2000 schools in Yemen - added the UN expert - can not be used because they have been destroyed, damaged, used to accommodate families of displaced or exploited for military purposes."

The UN spokesman confirmed the death, in recent days, of children hit by an air strike of the Saudi led Arab coalition north of the capital, which hit a market located by a school. Four other students were injured.

"Schools should be zones of peace – warned the Unicef spokeswoman ​​- sanctuaries where children can learn, grow, play and feel safe." The woman again appealed to all parties to the conflict, to "protect children and put an end to attacks against civilian infrastructure."

The UN body condemnation echoes the Yemeni child protection bidy, which speaks explicitly of the Saudi aggression that continues to claim innocent victims. The Saba news agency, close to the Shiite Houthi rebel movement, reported the association’s calls for Arab coalition air strikes to be regarded as war crimes against the Yemeni people.

Since January 2015, Yemen has been the scene of a bloody civil war opposing the country’s Sunni elites led by former President Hadi, backed by Riyadh, and Shia Houthi rebels, who are close to Iran.

In March 2015, a Saudi-led Arab coalition began attacking the  rebels, sparking criticism from the United Nations over heavy casualties, including many children.

So far, some 10,000 people, including more than 3,700 civilians, have been killed, and at least 2.5 million have been displaced.

For Saudi Arabia, the Houthis, allied to forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are supported militarily by Iran, a charge that Tehran rejects.

Extremist groups linked to al Qaeda and jihadist militias linked to Islamic State are active in the country, a fact that has helped escalate violence and terror.

 

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