18 civilians have been killed by landmines in Yemen between April and June 2021, a local rights-advocacy organisation has revealed.
Since 2015, Yemen’s Houthi militia, have and are still routinely employing landmines directly against civilians – extensively and indiscriminately. Terrorised civilian populations are forced to leave their cities and villages, agricultural land and schools. Mines disrupt the transport of goods, medical supplies and aid; further deepening the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
According to the Yemeni Landmine Records, an observatory for documenting mines and unexploded ordnance victims in Yemen, 10 children were among the 18 civilian landmine fatalities, along with five women and one demining experts. In separate incidents, 32 civilians were injured by mine explosions, including seven children, two women and one demining worker during the same period. Additionally, the observatory reported six civilians vehicles were damaged or destroyed by landmines. 50 heads of cattle were also killed.
Landmines affect civilians both directly and indirectly. Whilst civilians face the risk of being maimed or killed by these explosive devices, they may also be driven out of their homes or farmland whether the landmine risk is unknown or known, thus losing access to essential resources such as water, food and livelihoods. Landmine survivors may also face stigma and discrimination from their own family or the community around them, making their reintegration more difficult.
To prevent further accidents and fatalities linked to landmines and other explosive devices including IEDs, Project Masam works tirelessly to clear Yemeni land from explosive threats across seven regions. Since it first entered Yemen in mid-2018, Masam demining teams have located and destroyed 265,037 explosive devices, effectively clearing 24,938,592sqm of Yemeni liberated land by removing 3,991 anti-personnel mines, 84,839 anti-tank mines, 6,081 IEDs and 170,126 UXO (as at 31 July 2021).