UN: Saudi bombing in Yemen has killed hundreds of children
The Saudi led Arab coalition fighting in the country included among the black list of countries that violate children's rights. According to the United Nations 785 children have died in the conflict in Yemen, 60% because of Riyadh’s air raids. Houthi rebels have recruited 72% of the 762 child soldiers.
Sanaa (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Saudi led Arab coalition has been included on the UN blacklist of nations that violate children's rights. The secretary general of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon made the announcement yesterday, accusing Riyadh - and its allies - for the death of hundreds of children.
The Shiite rebels, who control the Yemeni capital Sanaa, are also responsible for violence, as is clear from the annual UN report on the fate of children affected by armed conflicts in 14 countries in the world in 2015.
Leila Zerrougui, the UN special representative for children and armed conflict, said that "in many cases of conflict, the airstrikes have helped to create a complex environment, where many children were killed or injured."
The situation in Yemen, added the United Nations official, has proved "particularly worrying, with a five-fold increase in the number of children recruited [to take part in the fighting] and six times in respect of children killed or injured, compared to 2014" .
According to the UN report the Saudi-led coalition engaged in the conflict are responsible for 60% of the 785 children killed and 1168 injured in 2015 in Yemen. In addition, out of about 762 cases of child soldiers recruited in the fighting, 72% is attributable to the Houthi rebels, 15% to government forces and 9% is the work of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqpa).
In January 2015, Yemen plunged into a brutal civil conflict opposing the country’s Sunni leadership, backed by Saudi Arabia, and Shia Houthi rebels, close to Iran. In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes against the rebels in an attempt to free the capital For Saudi Arabia, the Houthis, who are allied to forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, are militarily supported by Iran, a charge the latter angrily rejects.
Groups linked to al Qaeda and jihadist militias linked to the Islamic State group are active in the country, which adds to the spiral of violence and terror. According to sources of the World Health Organization (WHO) at least 6,400 people have been killed in the war; for the United Nations there is a strong risk of "humanitarian catastrophe" in Yemen.