lunedì 18 giugno 2018
Mines Threatens the Present and Future of Yemen
Landmines pose a serious threat in the conflict-inflicted areas of northern Yemen, where Government forces and Houthi rebels fought six rounds of conflict between the years 2004 and 2010. In the south, where fighting between government forces and al-Qaeda continues, the threat doubled after the Houthi coup on Yemeni legitimacy. Not only did the Iranian-backed Houthi militia steal Yemen's happiness with war, but it became the first threat to the continuation of life.
Several separate reports by international human rights organizations reported that the Houthis had deliberately planted about one million mines around civilian homes and farms, which resulted in thousands being killed and maimed, and it impeded the return of large numbers of displaced people to their homes in addition to disrupting life in a number of liberated governorates.
According to these reports, Houthis used mines to target individuals as well as other restricted and internationally banned mines that target vehicles in order to cause more victims. They also used mines in ways that violated all international rules of war. They indiscriminately bombed Yemeni houses and farms by placing mines in refrigerators, doors and dressers in violation of all laws and customs, thus, using murder tools in a more criminal manner.
Militias have not responded to calls by international human rights organizations to stop planting mines. They have continued their multiple crimes against the Yemeni people, planting land and sea mines indiscriminately and in an unorganized or documented manner, making it harder to detect and dispose of these mines.
Planting mines is a crime against humanity, a crime that affects people with permanent disabilities.
Yemen needs years to get rid of these mines, as there are no maps showing where they were implanted. Local Yemeni statistics indicate that there are hundreds of civilian causalities -either amputated or killed- and the number is still rising given the expansion of the war in densely populated areas.
On its part, the Yemeni government has issued several urgent appeals to the international community to assist in the demining of the mines planted by Houthi militias heavily and in an indiscriminate manner in areas under their control, stressing that this is a disturbing issue for both government and citizens. Especially since the planting of these mines was carried out in a random, unorganized nor documented manner, making it very difficult to detect and dispose of them. The Government of Yemen hopes to be assisted by the international community and the international organizations involved with demining, providing technical, technological and material assistance in order to prevent further causalities.
These mines remain the greatest threat to human and animal life in the present and future of Yemen. Failure to remove them will cause more lives of innocent civilians, especially women and children, being taken, and will cause serious human and material damage that may last for years and become a prominent title in the future of Yemen. Yemen urgently needs massive international humanitarian efforts to remove these mines, neutralize their danger and restore the spirit of life to the liberated territories from the grip of these coup militias.