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Cablegate: Demarche Response: Implementation of Child

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHYN #2219 3491505
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151505Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 3391

UNCLAS SANAA 002219

SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ARP AMACDONALD AND G/TIP SAHLUWALIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KTIP ELAB KCRM KWMN KMCA PGOV PHUM PREL SMIG
YM
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE RESPONSE: IMPLEMENTATION OF CHILD
SOLDIERS PREVENTION ACT

REF: STATE 121328

1. PolOff delivered reftel demarche and non-paper on
December 14 to Khalil Mohammed of the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs' (MFA) Two Americas Department and Amani Ali Salih
al-Wathai, assistant to Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
Muhi al-Dhabbi. Mohammed and Wathai accepted the points of
the demarche, and countered that Yemeni law clearly forbids
the participation of anyone under the age of 18 in Yemen's
armed services. Mohammed said that the problem of child
soldiers in Yemen is not endemic; it is much smaller than is
reported by some media outlets and non-governmental
organizations. Amani admitted, however, that the problem is
compounded by Yemeni tribal culture, which traditionally
requires boys as young as 14 or 15 to get married and defend
their family and tribe.

2. PolOff discussed with Mohammed and Wathai the serious
implications in terms of lost military assistance if Yemen is
identified in 2010 as being a country that has governmental
armed forces or government-supported armed groups that
recruit and use child soldiers. Both were eager to prevent
Yemen from losing "badly needed" assistance from the U.S. It
was decided that another meeting would be held between PolOff
and the MFA in early 2010. At that time, the MFA will make
its case about what the ROYG is doing to prevent and combat
the problem of child soldiers in Yemen.
SECHE

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