Yemen accuses UNICEF of funding Houthi summer camps

Yemeni government sources have accused the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) of funding summer sectarian camps for the Houthi movement.

September Net, the Yemeni National Army’s official website, quoted on Monday sources described as “private” saying that the UN organisation is behind the funding of the summer camps held by the Houthi militias in Sanaa, and the rest of the areas under the movement’s control.

The website pointed out that these camps are aimed at creating a sense of sectarianism in society and recruiting children to fight in the fronts.

The government source implicated UNICEF, by saying that the agency had secured, in cooperation with the Global Partnership for Education and the Houthi-controlled Ministry of Education in Sanaa, all costs for summer camps organised by the Houthi militia for students.

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The source also accused the UNICEF of paying salaries for members of the Houthi militia, who work and manage these summer camps.

The source warned of the danger of presenting sectarian curricula and ideas in these summer camps by the Houthis.

In early July, the Houthi movement announced through its media the establishment of more than 2000 summer camps, in areas under its control, to accommodate 250.000 students.

The Yemeni government accused the Houthis of using these summer camps to propagate sectarian thoughts, recruiting young people for training in camps and pushing them to the front lines. The Houthis were also accused of forcing parents to send their children to these camps.

Earlier, the Yemeni Ministry of Education claimed that UNICEF had provided support to the Houthis by handing over a financial incentive to hundreds of members of the movement after being hired instead of teachers.