More than 800 child soldiers recruited to fight Yemen war

More than 800 child soldiers recruited to fight Yemen war
The UN has verified that 842 boys have been recruited by various parties in Yemen to fight the country's bloody civil war.
2 min read
10 July, 2018
Over 800 boys were recruited by various parties in Yemen in 2017. [Getty]

More than 800 children - some aged as young as 11 - were recruited to Yemen's devastating conflict in 2017 alone, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

The latest report of the UN secretary general on children in armed conflict confirmed that 842 boys had been recruited by various parties in Yemen.

Years of war have left thousands dead and pushed the country to the brink of famine.

Seventy-six children have been documented as used in active combat.

The rest were recruited to "guard checkpoints and government buildings, for patrolling, fetching water and bringing food and equipment to military positions", according to a statement released by the UN Humanitarian Affairs Agency (OCHA).

The UN also verified the killing and maiming of 1,316 children last year alone, 51 percent of them in air strikes.

The Yemeni government - backed by the UAE - Saudi Arabia and their regional allies, is battling northern rebels, known as the Houthis, for control of the impoverished country.

The Saudi-led alliance is the only party directly involved in the conflict that is known to conduct air strikes in Yemen.

In 2014, the Houthis drove the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi out of the capital to Aden, prompting the intervention of Saudi Arabia and its allies the following year.

The Yemen conflict has killed nearly 10,000 people since 2015, 2,200 of them children.

Both the government alliance and rebels stand accused of neglecting to protect civilians.

Yemen's military "Security Belt" force - UAE-backed troops fighting in the southern part of the country - have already been blacklisted by the UN.