Boy - 14 Years - Used As Soldier

Human Rights Watch, on Friday (15/04/2011), condemned the use of child soldiers in one division of the Yemeni army, which sided with the protesters antirezim in a political crisis that has caused 125 people dead.

"child soldier recruited by the Yemeni army units are now used by the breakaway, to protect anti-government demonstrators," said HRW Human Rights Group, headquartered in New York, United States, in a statement.

HRW workers have met with dozens of armed soldiers, whose age was under 18 years old, in Sana'a since the protests and violence against President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in late January.

Twenty of them, who claimed 14 and 16 years old, told HRW that they served for two years in the division under the supreme military command, General defector General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

Before the protest antirezim, they have been recruited to fight against Shiite rebels in northern Yemen.

"The Yemeni government has been too long to place children at great risk by deploying child soldiers on the battlefield," said Joe Stork, deputy director of HRW's Middle East on Friday.

"Opponents of President Saleh should not prolong the problem by using the children to safety protest action," he added in a statement.

HRW urged the United States to suspend military aid to Yemen immediately unless the Government of Yemen agreed to negotiate a plan of action with the United Nations to end the use of child soldiers.

More than 125 people died during 10 last week in clashes between demonstrators and anti-Saleh security forces loyal to the president.