Not a day passes in Yemen without civilian casualties due to the mines planted by the Houthi militia during its continuous wars. In the past three years, about 1,400 Yemenis have been killed and more than 4.5 million have been disabled as a result of a landmine explosion since 2020, according to the Yemeni Landmine Monitor.
The observatory confirmed the injury of a Yemeni citizen on Tuesday, October 12, as a result of a landmine explosion while working on a farm in the Al-Madfoun area in the Nehm district, west of Sana’a governorate. According to the observatory, a few days ago, another demining expert named . was killed Ibrahim Al-Rahoumi while he and an engineering team dismantled a network of mines planted by the Houthis in the coastal areas overlooking the Red Sea.
I lost my feet
Yousef, a mine victim in al-Tuhayta village in Hodeidah says, “Three years ago I was eighteen years old when I lost both of my legs. I was driving my bike on the side road leading to our house, that’s all I remember. I was told that the accident was due to the explosion of an anti-vehicle mine. I woke up a few days later in the hospital and gradually realized that my lower body was surprisingly light.”
Youssef continues: “When I realized I had lost my legs, I became desperate and afraid. Fear of being outcast. I stayed in hospital for twelve months. It took seven months before I could sit up straight in my bed. After that I stayed at home sitting on a chair nearby. From the door of our house, I don’t do anything, all the people feel sorry for me, they treat me with pity, which is a very difficult feeling.”
I thought about my family
Ali, fifty-four years old, works in sheep grazing in the Abdiya district of Ma’rib governorate in the center of the country. Than I lost my right leg. After some time, people came to help me and carried me to the clinic in the district center, but the treatment there was not good. I was eventually carried to Al-Thawra Hospital in the city, and my left leg was seriously injured, and I despaired that I might lose that leg as well. Indeed, the leg got gangrene and was amputated after fifteen days. I was in despair and sadness. I was very worried about how to take care of my family, I have three children, and I didn’t know how I would be able to provide them with food and support.”
“I left the hospital after fifty days and tried to use a wheelchair, but that was very difficult. I finally got artificial limbs and slowly and steadily learned to walk again.”
“In those days we managed to survive with the help of family and friends who supported us and raised money for us. I also started teaching the children the Qur’an in my home, and the local primary school paid me very little for it. I did not want to receive alms and I did not want them to feel People are distressed towards me. It was very important for me to do things myself.”
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, in its statement issued on October 6, said that landmines planted by the Houthis still pose a serious and continuing danger to civilians and that 1,424 people have been killed by Houthi mines since 2018, and the statement stressed the need to exert a lot of international aid and resources To support demining efforts in Yemen.
According to a statement by the Media Center of the Fifth Military Region in the army, 5 mines were destroyed at sea, one day after the Houthis deployed about 15 sea mines in Yemeni territorial waters.
Since eight years of war, the Houthis have relied heavily on mines of all kinds, which raises fears and anxiety among the population, and according to the United Nations demining project, which began its work in December 2016, and continues until next December, it has completed a survey and clearance of more than 23 million square meters of mines. Land, by removing nearly 635,000 pieces of mines, there are still many mines in large areas of land across Yemen, including populated areas.
A renewed tragedy
Despite the efforts announced by UN programs and projects, in this regard, the suffering of Yemenis continues as a result of mines planted by the Houthis in different areas, in very large quantities, and primitive and indiscriminate means, which threatens the lives of the population in light of the increasing number of civilian victims, the majority of whom are women and children.