Asia

The UN Obtains the Unconditional Freeing of Children in the Yemen

Throughout the War in the Yemen, Many Children Have Been Taken Prisoner by both Sides

June 13th, 2016
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On the 6th of June, the UN mediator announced that both parties involved in military conflict in the Yemen have reached an agreement on the unconditional freeing of children currently being held prisoner. If this agreement is implemented, it would be the first concrete success of peace negotiations that began on April 21st in Kuwait. Negotiations are taking place between the Uthis Rebels, allied with the supporters of the fallen former President Ali Abdallah Saleh and accused of having links to Iran, and the government, supported by an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

This agreement is significant as a large number of children are currently being used as soldiers, many of them up eventually being taken as prisoners by the opposing side. UNICEF estimates that 738 minors have been recruited, with children as young as ten taking up arms. There is reason, however, to believe that this agreement may not eventually be implemented. Indeed, peace negotiations in Kuwait ran into difficulties following the bombing of a market in the city of Taez in south-west Yemen, currently under rebel siege. The attack, killing eleven people and injuring dozens of others, shows the fragility of the truce between the two sides that has been violated numerous times since it was implemented by the UN on April11th.

UN executive, Ismaïl Ould Cheikh Ahmed, condemned this as an ‘immoral act’ perpetuated ‘despite the cessation of the hostilities’. He also guaranteed that negotiations will continue during the month of Ramadan. However, deep disagreements persist between the rebels and the government, especially on the issue of the creation of an independent and consensual transition cabinet. The rebels reject this idea, whereas the current government support it.

References:

Cultural Diplomacy News
Pierre Even, CD News