MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some 70 percent of the personnel of the rebel forces in Yemen are children, Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Mekhlafi said Friday.
"Rebels are using children in this war, 70 percent of the personnel are children, children between the ages of nine and 17 … The recruitment of children must be stopped," Mekhlafi said at a session on Yemen at the United Nations.
According to Mekhlafi, Yemen hopes that international bodies "will pay more attention" to programs of social security in the conflict-torn country.
"We need more money for these programs," the minister added.
Yemen has been engulfed in a violent conflict between the government headed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi Shia movement, also known as Ansar Allah, backed by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015. The Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries started carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request in March of the same year.