Dozens of Yemeni children have staged a rally in front of the United Nations office in the capital Sana’a to denounce the international community’s silence on the tight Saudi-led blockade against the impoverished nation and the crimes perpetrated by the Riyadh regime and its mercenaries in the country.
The participants, in a communiqué issued on Monday, reiterated that they will continue to hold demonstrations in order to convey the voice of all Yemeni children to the entire world, and that they will cooperate with human rights advocates in order to shed light on the crimes of the Saudi-led coalition against minors, and restore their rights.
The statement censured blatant disregard by the Saudi-led coalition of aggression for international conventions and treaties on children’s rights, stating that the international inaction has emboldened Saudi Arabia and its allies to get away and press ahead with their vicious acts without any sense of remorse and accountability.
It went on to highlight that the crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemeni children are a disgrace to the whole world, and will haunt the international community forever.
Earlier on Monday, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said more than 11,000 children are known to have been killed or maimed as a result of Yemen conflict.
“The true toll of this conflict is likely to be far higher,” the UN children's agency stated.
“Thousands of children have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation,” UNICEF executive director Catherine Russell said.
UNICEF also noted that at least 62 children have been killed or wounded since a UN-brokered truce, which lasted for six months, expired on October 2 after warring parties failed to agree on an extension.
“The urgent renewal of the truce would be a positive first step that would allow critical humanitarian access,” Russell said.
She added, “Ultimately, only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”
The UN agency also said 3,904 boys had been recruited into the fighting over the years, and that more than 90 girls had been given roles, including working at checkpoints.
UNICEF appealed for $484.4 million in funding to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
“If the children of Yemen are to have any chance of a decent future... all those with influence must ensure they are protected and supported,” Russell said.
Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.
The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.
While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
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