Yemen’s Houthi militia has been committing crimes against the Yemeni people through their mine-laying operations, according to Ousama Algosaibi, the managing director of the Saudi-backed Project Masam demining initiative. Since June 2018, a total of 417,103 landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been removed in Yemen. These explosives have been indiscriminately planted, posing dangers to civilians.
The discovery of bouncing and fragmentation mines, as well as camouflaged ones, highlights the extent of the Houthi militia’s brutality. Algosaibi expressed disbelief at the fact that innocent civilians, including children, women, and the elderly, were being targeted in places like mosques, schools, farms, and areas surrounding water wells. The images of these explosive devices being detonated live serve as evidence of the atrocities committed by the Houthis.
Algosaibi called on international and local organizations operating in Yemen to publish their data and document their actions to shed light on the magnitude of the landmine crisis affecting Yemenis. He emphasized that 50 million square meters of land have been completely cleared by Project Masam teams, each inch testifying to the crimes committed by the Houthis.
In response to claims made by the Houthis that the Arab Coalition had scattered about 3 million cluster bombs in Yemen, Algosaibi dismissed them as misleading and far from the truth. He referred to international reports indicating that the number of cluster munitions found over the past five years did not exceed 5,000. It is clear that the Houthi militia is attempting to portray themselves as victims while spreading death and destruction.
The ongoing crisis in Yemen has resulted in a dire humanitarian situation. The presence of landmines and other explosive devices only exacerbates the suffering of the Yemeni people. It is crucial for the international community to support initiatives like Project Masam in their efforts to clear these deadly remnants of war.
The work done by Project Masam is not only about removing landmines and explosive devices; it is also about restoring hope and safety to the Yemeni people. By clearing 50 million square meters of land, Project Masam has created a safer environment for communities to rebuild their lives. However, there is still much more work to be done.
The international community must continue to provide support and resources to demining initiatives in Yemen. This includes financial assistance, technical expertise, and equipment necessary for the safe removal and disposal of explosive devices. Additionally, efforts should be made to raise awareness about the landmine crisis in Yemen and advocate for a comprehensive ban on their use.
The crimes committed by the Houthi militia in Yemen cannot be ignored or forgotten. The world must stand in solidarity with the Yemeni people and hold those responsible for these atrocities accountable. By supporting demining initiatives like Project Masam, we can help pave the way for a safer and more prosperous future for Yemen.