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Yemen Needs More than 8 Years to Remove Houthi Mines

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Yemen Needs More than 8 Years to Remove Houthi Mines

Friday, 8 April, 2022 - 08:15
Members of a Yemeni military demining unit prepare to destroy unexploded bombs and mines (File photo: Reuters)

Yemen needs more than eight years to remove all mines planted by Houthis, as over two million mines are still in various areas, according to a Yemeni official.


Several local and international reports revealed that the mines prevent the displaced from returning to their areas and reaching their farms.


Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Human Rights, Nabil Abdul-Hafeez, said estimates show that Houthis planted over two million landmines, with more than 500,000 having been cleared.


Abdul-Hafeez indicated that Yemen needs eight years to clear the remaining mines based on a study carried out 18 months ago.


However, the deputy minister stated that these estimates are no longer accurate because the Houthis continue to plant mines extensively.


The Saudi Masam project, designed to demine Yemen, has cleared more than 32 million square meters of Yemeni land from Houthi mines.


Masam stated that its technical teams cleared more than 32,460,000 square meters of Yemeni land.


The teams worked on more than 1.6 million square meters last month.


The American Center for Justice (ACJ) released its report on the disaster of mines, saying mines have killed 2,526 civilians and injured 3,286 others in 18 Yemeni governorates and that 75 percent of those injured by the Houth-laid mines have been permanently disabled or maimed.


The Center also documented in its report the destruction of 425 different means of transport and the partial damage of 163 others due to landmines and the killing of 33 disposal experts working for Masam, five of whom were foreigners, in addition to the injury of 40 other workers.


Houthis have planted mines in villages and rural areas, forcing civilians to be internally displaced, and preventing humanitarian aid from reaching vulnerable groups, according to ACJ.


The report found that mines impede children’s access to schools and prevent civilians from reaching pastures and farms.


ACJ said that the Houthi group has systematically committed this violation in all the military sites it controls and the areas and roads it left.


The Center called on the militias to destroy their entire stockpile of mines and abide by the principles of the Ottawa Convention against the use, storage, production, and transfer of anti-personnel mines.


The report recommended that the legitimate government take all necessary legal measures to hold those responsible accountable for planting mines.


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