Yemen: Inadequate mine clearance

Yemen: Inadequate mine clearance Medical wasteland


Thousands upon thousands of explosive devices will endanger the lives of people in Yemen for decades to come.

UK-based organisation Conflict Armament Research pointed in a recent report to Ansar Allah’s large-scale mass-production of mines and improvised explosive devices, as well as its use of anti-personnel, vehicle and naval mines.

According to the Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre, the Yemeni army cleared 300,000 mines between 2016 and 2018.

Managed almost exclusively by the military, mine clearance is focused on roads and strategic infrastructure, with little heed paid to civilian areas.

“Specialist mine clearance organisations and the authorities must step up their efforts to demine the region in order to reduce the number of victims,” says MSF head of mission Claire Ha-Duong.

As well as demining strategic areas for military, civilian areas urgently need to be cleared of all types of mines and explosive devices – not only from places where people live, but also from agricultural land, so that people can access their fields again in safety.

Not a day goes by without war-wounded people like Ali and Omar arriving at MSF’s hospital in Mocha from the frontlines between Taiz and Hodeidah.

Aden, where MSF opened a specialist trauma hospital in 2012, is 450 kilometres from Hodeidah. Although there is medical care available in Aden, most Yemenis don’t have the money to pay for treatment or the transport to travel there.

It takes six to eight hours to drive to Aden from Hodeidah. The area between the two cities has become a medical wasteland for the people who live there.

MSF’s hospital in Mocha is the only facility in the region with an operating theatre and the capacity to perform surgery.

Since we opened the MSF hospital in Mocha, its staff have provided more than 2,000 emergency room consultations and performed around 1,000 surgical procedures.

Source: Médecins sans Frontières


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