October 23-31: Widespread Use of Child Soldiers in Yemen


A new report from the Congressional Research Service shows that the Trump administration has relaxed government standards for arms sales to countries with dubious human rights records. A recent arms sale to Saudi Arabia, despite the country’s role in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, is one example of the Trump administration’s willingness to ignore human rights concerns.


A Reuters report highlights efforts to aid the starving population in Yemen. According to the United Nations, half a million children under the age of 5 are severely malnourished. Saida Ahmed Baghili is one example of the millions currently starving in Yemen. While her family has been able to pay for treatments thus far, they are running low on funds and fear they will not be able to help her if any complications arise.

Middle East Eye reports on the widespread use of child soldiers in Yemen’s civil war. UNICEF estimates that one-third of all troops in Yemen are under 18 years old. Both parties to the conflict have broken their pledge not to utilize child soldiers, according to UNICEF.

Middle East Eye reports that arms sales from the UK to Saudi Arabia reached over $1.4 billion in the first half of 2017. The sales included air-to-air missiles, aircraft components and sniper rifles, as well as anti-riot gear, ballistic shields and body armour. The Middle East is a key market for the UK's $9.3bn-a-year arms industry, which has sold almost $5.3bn of arms to Saudi Arabia since it began its bombing campaign in Yemen.

Politico reports on the Trump administration’s new refugee admission policies. Eleven countries, including Yemen, will reportedly be targeted for an “in-depth threat assessment.” Refugee admissions from the eleven countries will be conducted on a case-by-case basis, provided that the applicants do not pose a security threat to the United States.

The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace outlines the war aims of the United Arab Emirates and its role in Yemen’s civil war. The sometimes divergent goals and tactics employed by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have further fractured Yemen and made political reconciliation more difficult.


CNBC reports that the United States has sanctioned individuals and companies in Yemen in an effort to combat terrorist financing operations. The U.S. Treasury said the sanctions have been issued jointly with other countries as part of the newly-created Terrorist Financing Targeting Center (TFTC).

Al-Jazeera reports on UN under-secretary-general and emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock’s arrival in Yemen. His trip began with a visit to Aden where he held meetings with local officials. Lowcock also met internally displaced people and visited a hospital in Lahj where he met patients receiving treatment for cholera and malnutrition.


Human Rights Watch reports that prisoners in a facility run by the United Arab Emirates have engaged in a hunger strike to protest their mistreatment and lack of legal rights. Families of the detainees claim their relatives have been held for over 19 months without access to lawyers, their families, or any information pertaining to their detention.


The Guardian has compiled a photo gallery to highlight how the cholera epidemic has affected Yemen.


Al-Jazeera reports that both sides to the conflict in Yemen appear unlikely to engage in negotiations. Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of interfering in peace efforts while Houthi forces accuse Saudi Arabia of refusing to engage in a dialogue.

The Washington Times reports that the United States has increased strikes against Islamic State-affiliated groups in Yemen. U.S. forces have launched over 100 airstrikes against al Qaeda in Yemen this year, according to figures compiled by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. The high rate of airstrikes this year under the Trump administration is greater than the previous high of 46 strikes in 2016 ordered by President Obama.


Reuters reports that Doctors Without Borders is closing most of its cholera treatment centers, claiming that the number of cases has declined significantly. U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that an aid effort by the World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF, the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) and other agencies had managed to “largely contain the devastating cholera epidemic,” but warned it could flare up again without urgent investment in health, water and sanitation.

The Middle East Monitor reports that Houthi forces have raided the Sudanese embassy in Sana’a. This marks the third time the Sudanese embassy has been attacked.