Landmine use in Yemen a cause for concern

Human Rights Watch is reporting that Houthi-Saleh forces in Yemen are using landmines in at least six areas in that country, causing widespread suffering on the civilian population.

The use of antipersonnel landmines in a country that has signed the Mine Ban Treaty is a cause for concern in the international community.

“Houthi-Saleh forces have been flouting the landmine ban at the expense of Yemeni civilians,” said Steve Goose, director of the arms division at Human Rights Watch. “Yemen prohibited antipersonnel mines nearly two decades ago and no authorities should tolerate their use.”

H.E. Thomas Hajnoczi, ambassador of Austria to the UN in Geneva and the man who presides over the Mine Ban Treaty called for those laying landmines to immediately halt their use.

“The use and devastating toll of antipersonnel mines on civilian populations should be of great concern to all of us. Landmines violate key principles; their use runs counter to international and humanitarian law,” said Mr. Hajnoczi.

Landmines and other explosive remnants of war have had a devastating affect on Yemen. Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor reports that there were 6,854 casualties by the end of 2015.