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UN says thousands of children killed or sexually assaulted in Yemen

More than 7,500 children were killed and maimed [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 April, 2019

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UN said thousands of children have been killed in the Saudi-UAE war in neighboring Yemen, while many may have been sexually assaulted but under-reported

UN has sounded the alarm on Monday night about children in Yemen, reporting that thousands have been killed in the Saudi-and-UAE-led war in neighbouring Yemen.

The UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict Virginia Gamba said that more than 7,500 children have been killed in the war. 

"The figures for verified grave violations against children in Yemen during that period are staggering: more than 3,000 children were verified as recruited and used, more than 7,500 children were killed and maimed and over 800 cases of denial of humanitarian access to children were documented," said the UN official.

Gamba said the data was collated from April 2013 to the end of 2018, warning that many sexual assaults on children may have gone under-reported due the difficulty of obtaining information.

She called on rival factions to take urgent measures to guarantee that their military operations adhere to relevant international laws.

She also appealed to the fighting groups to facilitate humanitarian aids and relief in Yemen, described by Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as "the world's largest aid operation".

"We continue to work with all the parties to find the safest, most efficient way to get this food to millions of desperately hungry people who need it as soon as possible," Lowcock told UN Security Council in a briefing on Monday.

Impoverished Yemen has been mired in crisis alongside brutal fighting between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and troops loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi since 2014.

The war escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-UAE-led military coalition stepped in support of the government's side.

The conflict has killed at least 10,000 people, according to reports from United Nations, with other reports from rights groups claiming that death toll may be higher.

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