Issued by CEMO Center - Paris
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Summer camps: Houthis’ way to forcibly recruit school students

Wednesday 02/June/2021 - 10:10 PM
The Reference
Ahmed Adel

The terrorist Houthi militia in Yemen is seeking to its size by carrying out forced recruitment campaigns for school students to join their ranks, with the aim of fighting battles against the Arab coalition forces.

According to a report by Al-Mashhad Al-Arabi website, the forced recruitment by the Houthis is directly linked to the militia’s expansion in establishing summer camps and attracting the largest number of school students to their classes as a first step that ends with their being pushed to the frontlines.

The idea of the summer centers dates back to a decision issued by the Houthi Supreme Political Council, which targeted youth and children and worked to fill their minds with extremist ideas.

In order to make this Houthi scheme a success, the militias always anticipate these courses with campaigns in mosques and neighborhoods, asking residents to send their children to these sectarian centers for the purpose of recruitment.

The malicious intentions of the Houthis in this context were evident in the militias’ efforts to convert the main schools in their areas of control into camps to train students to fight under the pretext of “summer programs.”

The Houthi militia has mobilized hundreds of students in these schools as part of a scheme to brainwash them in the hope of enrolling them in training courses on the use of weapons.

Recently, large schools and governorate centers controlled by militias were opened in Sanaa and its suburbs and turned into centers for disseminating extremist sectarian thought.

The Houthi militia has printed books for summer centers, including “Al-Mulazim" (The Lieutenant), which are speeches and lectures by the militia's founder, Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi, with the aim of teaching and distributing them to students in summer centers.

The Houthi militia also held a series of meetings headed by Qassem al-Hamran, the acting director of its political office and the deputy minister of education in its unrecognized government, in preparation for the opening of summer centers, instead of focusing efforts on combating the corona pandemic.

According to Hamran, these meetings approved directing all Houthi leaders and governors affiliated with the militia to participate in promoting these summer centers and encouraging school students to enroll in them.

Hamran stressed that the militia allocated budgets for these summer centers, including distributing clothes and food aid to poor families to encourage them to enroll their children in summer centers, in addition to distributing rewards to teachers in the centers.

The summer camps target students in the age group between 13 and 17 years, according to the Emirati newspaper Al Bayan, which indicated that the students undergo “cultural courses”, with combat training, before a number of them are selected and transferred to special camps that intensify the training and intellectual program for them.

Forcibly recruiting students and young people and forcing them to the battlefronts is one of the most horrendous crimes committed by the Houthis, which is included in the framework of war crimes that the militia continues to commit as part of its brutal terrorism that burdens the youth.