Reports of landmines in Yemen in violation of Mine Ban Treaty

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines called on Yemen to investigate allegations that new landmines were placed in 2011, causing 162 deaths between January and July 2012.

If confirmed, Yemen would be in violation of the Mine Ban Treaty, which the nation signed in 1997. The treaty calls for the prohibition of the use, stockpiling, production and transfer of anti-Personnel mines and their Destruction. Yemen agreed to have its stockpiles completely destroyed by 2015.

Witnesses said they saw Republican Guard forces lay the mines in 2011 near military camps in the Bani Jarmooz area near Sanaa. The types of mines reported include PMN, PMD-6 and GYATA.

The Human Rights Watch recently began investigating the reports after hearing of a 9-year-old boy having his leg blown off by a landmine while tending to his sheep. One hundred sixty-two lives have been lost due to landmines and/or explosive remnants of war, including 110 children. There are others that have been injured by the antipersonnel mines, which are not included in the figure.

The Yemeni government is called to take the following action from the ICBL: conduct an immediate investigation of the alleged landmines, mark off areas where the mines are found, conduct clearance efforts to remove the mines, prosecute those responsible for their deployment, reaffirm Yemen's commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty, disclose the details of how the mines were obtained and immediately destroy any remaining stockpiles of mines, as stated by the treaty.