Last Updated: Thursday, 24 July 2014, 09:38 GMT

UNICEF voices concern about school siege in northern Yemen

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 12 May 2010
Cite as UN News Service, UNICEF voices concern about school siege in northern Yemen, 12 May 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4bf0ef94c.html [accessed 24 July 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) expressed today its deep concern about reports that rebel occupation is preventing children in the northern Yemeni governorate of Saada from attending classes in a country that already has the lowest school enrolment rates in the region.

"Schools should be zones of peace where children can learn and thrive. Using them for military or inappropriate political purposes is a violation of children's rights and of international humanitarian law," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, in a statement released today following reports that some schools were occupied by armed men.

"Children must be allowed to resume their schooling immediately," Mr. Cappelaere said.

The siege comes two months after the official end to hostilities between Government forces and rebels in the region which uprooted nearly 300,000 people in recent years.

A ceasefire "brought hope, allowing children to go back to school" and recover a sense of normalcy, Mr. Cappelaere said.

He called on parties throughout Yemen to ensure the right to quality education.

"Depriving children from this right is detrimental to their well-being and to their country's future," he stated.

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