Houthis kidnap hundreds of African immigrants, intensify crackdown to recruit others to warfronts

Houthis kidnap hundreds of African immigrants, intensify crackdown to recruit others to warfronts

In recent days, the Houthi militia have intensified manhunt on African migrants of all ages, in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, and 3 other areas under the militia's control, in order to recruit them to warfronts, according to informed sources who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat.

The sources stated that the crackdown campaigns launched by gunmen affiliated with the so-called "Houthi Preventive Security Service" resulted, in recent weeks, in the kidnapping of more than 300 African refugees.

 It stated that the militias detained 200 refugees who were kidnapped from Saada (the stronghold of the group), and 100 others were arrested and kidnapped from separate neighborhoods and areas in Sanaa, Ibb and Dhamar, and they were transferred to unknown destinations and places, amid accusations that the militias seek to recruit them to the battlefield.

 The sources accused the Houthi group of trying to rearrange and strengthen its ranks now with new African fighters, by carrying out crimes of persecution, kidnapping, recruitment, brainwashing and forcible recruitment, and said that the militias transferred dozens of African detainees in batches to several sectarian and military training centers and camps that were established away from the follow-up and oversight of international organizations.

. Migrants of different ages, who arrive successively in areas controlled by the Houthis, are subjected to various forms of abuse and extortion, according to human rights sources and international reports.

 Houthi violations begin with chasing and arresting migrants and subjecting them to mobilization and military courses to engage in its projects and join its fronts, by imposing sums of money on them in return for returning them to their countries, and up to using them for intelligence missions, implementing targeting schemes, smuggling contraband, and others.

 Since the beginning of this year, the militias have approved tracking, pursuit and kidnapping campaigns, which resulted in the arrest of 780 immigrants in Saada during last January.

 In February, their militias kidnapped more than 100 African immigrants from the same governorate.
It transferred them to several affiliated centers in Sana'a.

The militias claimed in their reports that these ongoing targeting operations against the refugees come in the context of what they call containing the migrants' posed threat to the Yemeni society and their deportation from their main stronghold, Saada, and from other cities.

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