Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Sign UN Action Plan To End Use of Child Soldiers
The Houthi rebels in Yemen have agreed to end and prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers. The United Nations praised the Houthis on Monday in its announcement that, as part of a two-month nationwide truce, the Houthis signed an Action Plan with the UN to protect the children affected by the armed conflict in Yemen.
Thousands of child soldiers have fought on the side of the Houthis during the ongoing, seven-year-long civil war in Yemen. The Houthis committed to identifying children in their military ranks and releasing them within six months, the UN said in a statement. It is not the first time that the Houthis have signed such a pledge, however. A senior Houthi military official told The Associated Press in 2018 that the rebels had inducted 18,000 child soldiers into its army up until then, with boys as young as 10 recruited to serve.
The action plan, which was signed by all of the parties to the civil war, also pledges the Houthis to stop killing and maiming children and attacking schools and hospitals. More than 10,200 children have been killed or maimed in the war, according to the UN.
The parties to Yemen’s civil war began a two-month UN-brokered truce at the beginning of the month to coincide with the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the first coordinated cease-fire in at least six years.