RIYADH, Saudi Arabia- The Saudi-led Arab coalition will not change its strategy, following the appointment of a new UN envoy to Yemen, its spokesman, Col. Turki Al-Maliki told Arab News.

Our peace strategy won't change under any circumstances, he said. The coalition seeks peace. The legitimate government of Yemen seeks peace. We're trying to find a political solution.

He added that, 544,037 civilians have been helped by the Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations (YCHO) relief programme, in collaboration with the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief).

In addition to ongoing humanitarian work in Yemen, three initiatives to combat cholera will be signed on Tuesday (today), by the YCHO and KSRelief, Al-Maliki said.

Aid, such as food, housing, health care and fuel, has been delivered to rehabilitate infrastructure in various Yemeni governorates, he added. The coalition gave permission 18,557 times for evacuation and humanitarian operations by land, sea and air, from Mar 26, 2015, to Feb 12, 2018, he said. The coalition looks forward to more partnerships with various international relief agencies, he added.

Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of recruiting Yemeni children and those of other nationalities as soldiers, despite global condemnation. This is a violation of humanitarian and international law, he said, adding that Feb 12 was Red Hand Day, or the International Day Against the Use of Child Soldiers. We call on all families and individuals in Yemen, to care for children and not send them to fight with the armed Houthi militia, for they'll be put on the front-lines, he said.

The coalition is working with the UN to help protect these children. Three weeks ago, 27 children were handed to Yemen's legitimate army by the Red Cross. Before that, 52 children were handed over who had been participating in military operations, he added. The coalition is working with international community to stop recruiting children to fight in Yemen.

The coalition will also work with Yemen's internationally recognised government, to ensure that all humanitarian organisations are able to operate in the country, Al-Maliki said.

He condemned Houthi attacks against private property, saying, this shows that the militias have lost their humanity, do not respect international laws and conventions, and are desperate amid considerable losses in territory and military equipment.


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