Landmines and other explosive remnants of war left behind by the Houthi rebels have turned the lives of Yemeni citizens returning home into a waking nightmare. Despite the successes of the Yemeni armed forces, backed by a pan-Arab coalition, landmines present an ongoing trauma to Yemeni citizens whose lives have already been torn asunder.
In order to secure the safe return of civilians to their home, an engineering corps, also backed by the pan-Arab coalition, began the dangerous but necessary process of clearing landmines in the Marib Governate and other nearby areas. So far, demining operations have been conducted in Al Fao, Al Jafina, Huraib Bayan, Al Saq, Najd Al Ateq, Asilan, and Al Safraa, as well in areas surrounding Mas, Al Jadaan, Al Makhdara, Salen, Harib Al Qaramish, Ayam, and Al Tibat Al Hamraa, in Sirwah. In addition, it should be noted that in the Al Jawf Governate, several districts, including Al Maslub, Al Ghil, Khab, Al Shaaf, and the areas around Al Hazm have all been heavily mined.
The difficulty of the task of demining Yemeni territory has been compounded by the actions of the Houthi rebels. Typically, minefield maps are handed over to the United Nations and the National Demining Bureau in order to facilitate demining efforts following a conflict. However, in this case, no such maps have been handed over.
While discussing the issue, Marib’s governor, Shaikh Abdullah Al Bakry, stated most of the districts in the area are still seriously affected by the landmines placed by Houthi militias. During a photo exhibition portraying the tragic consequences of landmine use, Al Bakry added that their only purpose was to kill civilians and destroy the parts of Yemen seized by the rebels, pointing to the many landmines unearthed after heavy rainfall in the province’s valleys and farms.