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YEMEN, Landmine Monitor Report 2002


Key developments since May 2001: On 27 April 2002, Yemen destroyed the last 8,674 of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines. Between May 2001 to February 2002, 2.2 million square meters of land were cleared of mines and UXO. Yemen has served as co-chair of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance since September 2001.


Yemen signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, ratified on 1 September 1998 and the treaty entered into force on 1 March 1999. Draft implementation legislation was discussed at a meeting of the inter-ministerial National Mine Action Committee (NMAC), on 7 April 2002.[1] NMAC proposed that the draft legislation be incorporated into the civil or military criminal code.[2] A committee, including the NMAC chair and a legal consultant, was formed to reformulate the draft law and submit it to the Cabinet for approval. On 27 April 2002, the government reported that the legislation was under “final consideration.”[3]

Yemen attended the Third Meeting of States Parties to the Mine Ban Treaty in Nicaragua in September 2001. At the meeting, Yemen and Germany were named co-chairs of the Standing Committee on Mine Clearance, Mine Awareness, and Mine Action Technologies. Yemen served in this role at the January and May 2002 intersessional meetings. Yemen cosponsored and voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 56/24M in November 2001, calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty.

After submitting its initial Article 7 transparency report on 30 November 1999, Yemen submitted annual updates on 14 November 2000, 18 September 2001, and 27 April 2002. The 2002 update covers the period from 8 September 2001 to 27 April 2002 and includes 58 pages detailing the location of mined areas.[4]

While Yemen is not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW), its Geneva-based representatives attended the third annual meeting of State Parties to Amended Protocol II, as well as the Second CCW Review Conference, in December 2001.

The Yemen Mine Awareness Association (YMAA) translated and published the country report on Yemen from the Landmine Monitor Report 2001 to promote the universalization, implementation, and monitoring of the Mine Ban Treaty in Yemen and throughout the region.

Yemen states that it has never manufactured or exported antipersonnel mines. The last reported use of mines was 1994.[5]


On 27 April 2002, Yemen completed destruction of its stockpiled antipersonnel mines, when it destroyed the last 8,674 mines at Alwaht in Lahej governorate.[6] The Prime Minister, representatives of the Ministry from Defense and other ministries, ambassadors, the UN Development Program, the international media, NGOs, and the in-country Landmine Monitor researcher for Yemen attended the ceremony.[7]

Yemen destroyed about 74,000 antipersonnel mines in total, apparently including 66,674 since September 2001.[8] Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States provided financial assistance to destroy the stockpile.[9]

Yemen intends to use the bodies of POMZ-2 antipersonnel mines to build a monument to commemorate the stockpile destruction and “to artfully depict the relationship between the human beings and the mines.”[10]

Yemen elected to retain 4,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes as permitted under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[11] Retained mines are housed in two locations: in Sana’a at the Military’s central storage facilities, and in Aden, at the Military’s Engineering Department training facility.[12] Thus far, Yemen has consumed 120 of these mines for training of mine detection dogs.[13]

The Army does not possess Claymore-type mines.[14]


The Survey Action Center (SAC) carried out the world’s first comprehensive nationwide Landmine Impact Survey in Yemen between July 1999 and July 2000. It identified 592 mine-affected villages in nineteen out of twenty governorates (Al-Mahweet governorate was the only one declared mine-free).[15] The survey identified 1,078 mined areas covering a total reported surface area of 923 million square meters, mainly in central and southern Yemen. In indicated that approximately 828,000 Yemeni civilians (or one out of every sixteen citizens) are affected by the presence of mines and UXO.


In 2001, the government of Yemen allocated 3 million Yemeni riyals ($17,212 at official conversion rates) to the mine action program.[16] Previously, the Yemen Mine Action Program spent approximately $5.5 million in a two-year period from May 1999 through April 2001. In 2001 international donors to mine action in Yemen allocated the following:

  • Saudi Arabia: $3 million (in installments over three years). This is for demining, stockpile destruction, mine risk education, and victim assistance. On 13 April 2002, in a ceremony attended by the Minister of State and the Saudi ambassador in Sana’a, six hearing aids, three wheelchairs and 19 prostheses were provided for mine survivors. Saudi Arabia also funded surgical operations for 32 mine survivors.[17]
  • United States: nearly $1.7 million. This is for the purchase of demining equipment and materials ($656,000), vehicles ($148,900), medical supplies ($5,816), logistic support items ($25,100) funding to support current mine clearance operations ($187,000), and training by U.S. military forces ($672,000).[18]
  • Germany: $326,000. This is for mine detecting dogs ($153,000), secondment of experts ($148,000), and a mission to study lessons learned ($25,000).[19]
  • Italy: $253,626 (€280,436) for support to the national mine action program.[20]
  • The Netherlands: $500,000 for mine action program activities.[21]
  • Switzerland: $120,000 for an administration and logistics advisor to support the national mine action program.[22]
  • Canada: $62,184. This is for mine clearance support ($58,777) and stockpile destruction ($3,414).[23]
  • United Kingdom: $12,000 for stockpile destruction.[24]


The National Mine Action Committee, chaired by the Minister of State (a member of the cabinet), is responsible for policy formulation, resource allocation, and the national mine action strategy. The Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) is responsible for coordination of mine action activities, the activities of the Regional Executive Mine Action Branch (REMAB Aden), and also executes national mine action plans. The Yemen Mine Action Program currently employees 816 personnel in planning, training, logistics, mine survey, mine clearance, mine awareness, and victim assistance. The NMAC has established a Mine Awareness Advisory Committee (MAAC), and a Victim Assistance Advisory Committee (VAAC), and working groups to assist with planning and evaluation of mine awareness and victim assistance activities. There are no new developments regarding the plan to open a regional mine unit in Hadramout.[25]

As part of a twenty-five year strategy, mine action specialists designed the government-approved Five-Year Strategic Mine Action Plan (from 2001 to 2005), which uses the National Mine Action Vision and Landmine Impact Survey, to establish national priorities. These include mined areas that block access to a critical area (such as water or pasture land); mined areas that block access to infrastructure (such as roads, public use facilities, or water resources); and mined areas that impede development (such as water projects, airport/sea/port development, and oil extraction). Another priority is to ensure mine survivors have equal access to educational and economic opportunity.[26]


A unit of the Engineering Department of the Ministry Defense and a separate body, the Mine Clearance Unit of the Regional Technical Executive Unit, undertake mine clearance in Yemen. In 2001, 4,304 antipersonnel mines, 35 antivehicle mines, and 4,352 UXO were cleared and destroyed.[27] From May 2001 to February 2002, six Army demining companies cleared 2,198,607 square meters of land in Aden, Lahej, Abyan, al-Dhala, Ebb, and Hadramout and handed over the land to the local authorities and the communities.[28] Mine action teams were deployed to four of the fourteen highest priority impact areas based on the results of the Landmine Impact Survey. Three out of four areas close to communities in Aden, Sana’a and Hjja governorates were cleared.[29] Cleared sites mostly consist of grazing lands, desert, and farms.

Newly formed technical (Level Two) survey teams engaged in area reduction and clearance in eight governorates: Aden, Lahej, Hadramout, Abyan, Al-Dhala, Ebb, Hajah and Sana'a.[30] Four demining companies fenced 25 minefields in these governorates.[31] During these operations 62 antipersonnel mines and 822 UXO were detected, cleared, and destroyed as efforts to limit the boundaries of these minefields.[32]

At the beginning of 2001, 432 deminers (including 14 UXO specialists) were working in Yemen. The number had increased to 500 by July 2002, and is expected to reach 600 by 2003. Eight mine detecting dogs were brought from Afghanistan, of which two died, and 13 additional dogs are slated to arrive in 2002 from Germany. Sixteen members of the regional mine action staff are being trained to work with these dogs.[33]

In 2002, the national program will continue to expand. The last of the eight mine action units (including clearance, mine awareness, and victims assistance teams) will be trained, equipped, and fielded; two additional technical survey teams will be deployed; the first four mine detecting dog teams (four dogs in each team) will be operational; and a management information system to accredit, license, and ensure quality in accordance with international standards will be put into place.[34]


In the year 2001 and through April 2002, the YMAA and the Mine Awareness Department at the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden carried out joint activities in Aden, Lahej, and Abyan, reaching 64 villages and schools and an estimated 44,808 people. These organizations also executed 87 field visits and distributed 30,490 posters and games during this period.[35]

Mine risk education in Yemen is mainly conducted through field visits and workshops in villages close to mined areas. There is ongoing coordination with key people (Shieks, Imama, teachers, students, and journalists) at the governorate and village levels. The content of the participatory workshops include an introduction to the danger of mines and UXO using materials such as plastic models and posters. The participants are also trained in how to transmit basic mine risk education messages using a child-to-child approach. Communication skills and safety procedures are also taught in case they encounter mines or UXO. Role-playing and games are also used.

The National Mine Action Program spent $20,000 for mine risk education in 2001. The Mine Awareness Department in Sana’a established plans for 2002 to target 101 mine-affected villages to work in cooperation with demining companies in villages in Al Dhala and Ebb.[36] During 2001, the Mine Awareness Department in Sana'a implemented separate mine risk education workshops and follow-up meetings in different mine-affected villages in Qataba and Al-Nadra. The National Mine Action Program supports these activities.

The Mine Awareness Department implements mine risk education locally and nationally which involves mainly village presentations, which are preceded by meetings with the key people where information is gathered regarding accidents, mine victims, places where mine victims, and locations where mines and UXO have been found. The Mine Awareness Department also produced a documentary film advocating for the Mine Ban Treaty and Mine Action activities in Yemen. This film was shown on Yemeni television in March 2002.[37]

In April 2001, the Yemen Mine Awareness Association (YMAA) received a $22,440 grant from the embassy of the United States in Sana’a to work jointly with the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden to replicate community-based programs in Qataba and Al-Nadra. Both Qataba in Al-Dhala governorate and Al-Nadra in Ebb Governorate are high-risk areas identified by the Impact Survey. YMAA women members gave mine risk education sessions at one of the houses in the village to reach women and girls who could not attend the workshop. Field visits were conducted in these areas in May and June 2001 and February and April 2002. In March 2002, the YMAA produced a poster and a storybook depicting mine survivors, as well as a quarterly newsletter about mine risk education activities in villages, with support provided by the U.S. embassy and Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden).[38]


The National Mine Action Center registered five mine survivors in 2001; it does not register those killed in mine incidents. The Regional Mine Action Center in Aden gave different numbers: in September 2001, a mine explosion injured three children (two lost their lower limbs and fingers) in Azal village, Ebb governorate; during the same month, ten people were killed and five injured in an antivehicle mine explosion in Al-Nadra, Ebb governorate.[39]

Mine/UXO incidents continue to be reported in 2002. On 24 March, two soldiers were injured in a mine explosion during a training exercise at the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden. On 25 March 2002 in the al-Baida Governorate, a ten-year old boy was killed and two other children were injured in a UXO explosion.[40] On 2 April 2002, a mine incident in Al-Otbat village in Qataba killed a goat, but there were no human casualties.[41]

The Landmine Impact Survey, completed in July 2000, recorded a total of 4,904 casualties, of which 2,560 were killed and 2,344 injured.[42] At the time, it was noted that casualties were markedly higher than any statistics previously collected. Concerns have been expressed that the numbers are not accurate and could be as high as double the real figure. It is possible that the survey raised expectations of compensation, which induced people to register even though they were victims of other causes.[43]


The Victim Assistance Department of the National Mine Action Program provides emergency medical assistance to landmine/UXO casualties in any area of Yemen when incidents are reported. The Victim Assistance Department developed a medical survey plan to follow up the results of Landmine Impact Survey. The plan is divided into three stages: medical survey, diagnosis, and provision of medical support. Implementation of the survey commenced in June 2001. An eight-member medical survey team targeted the Qataba district in the Al-Dhala governorate and identified 64 survivors (16 females and 48 males) and the Al-Nadra district in Ebb governorate where 110 survivors (16 females and 94 males) were identified.[44] On 21 January 2002 the Victim Assistance Department referred 51 mine and UXO survivors from Al-Dhala governorate to the Aden Hospital for medical treatment and for rehabilitation services at the prosthetic workshops.[45]

The ICRC assisted the Ministry of Health National Artificial Limbs and Physiotherapy Center in Sana'a to adopt ICRC technology.[46] After the delivery of materials in March 2001, the centered produced 284 prostheses and 1,870 orthoses. The Ministry of Health requested the ICRC to extend assistance to a new prosthetic workshop that is being built in Mukalla in the isolated Hadramout governorate.

Handicap International Belgium (HIB) supports two physical rehabilitation centers in Taiz and Aden, in cooperation with the Ministry of Insurance, Social Affairs, and Labor (MOISA) and the Ministry of Public Health.[47] In 2001, the Taiz Rehabilitation Center provided 3,060 physiotherapy treatments, 768 prostheses were fitted, and 109 prostheses were repaired. As well as providing rehabilitation services, the Aden center facilitated the training of twelve orthopedic technicians and six physiotherapy assistants.[48] Thirty-five amputees are registered on the center’s waiting list of which twenty percent were injured in mine or UXO incidents. Production of below-the-knee prostheses started at the Aden workshop in March 2002 when four prostheses were provided to patients, including two mine survivors.[49] In 2001, donors to the HIB program included the European Union, the Social Fund for Development, the British Council, French Co-operation, and private donors.[50]

In 2001, the Yemen office of Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden) supported the Ministry of Social Affairs in a community-based program to assist children with disabilities, including landmine survivors, in the governorates of Aden, Lahej, Abyan, Taiz, and Ebb. Following an evaluation of the program, a workshop was held on 26-28 January 2002 to discuss the outcomes and implement recommendations and lessons learned. Since then, new plans have been discussed between different parties to improve the effectiveness of the program in the field.[51]

Since May 2001, support from the National Mine Action Program to the Italian NGO, Movimondo, ceased due to a lack of coordination with the Victim Assistance Advisory Committee. However, Movimondo’s assistance program, which includes the training of Yemeni physiotherapists and nurses, continues as planned.[52]


Act 61 on the Care and Rehabilitation of the Disabled was issued in December 1999.[53] On 23 January 2002, Presidential Law Number 2 establishing a care and rehabilitation fund for the disabled came into effect. The fund will initially cover the costs of immediate medical care in hospital.[54]

Landmine survivor assistance in Yemen is coordinated through the Victim Assistance Advisory Committee; the membership of which includes the Ministry of Public Health and Population, the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs (MOISA), Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, and four international NGOs, ADRA, Handicap International Belgium, Movimondo, and Rädda Barnen. There is no representation from local NGOs or mine survivors.


[1] Interview with Rashida Al-Hamadani, Secretary of the National Demining Committee, Sana'a, 13 March 2002. In 2002, a legal committee drafted a law to implement the treaty, with the assistance of the ICRC regional office in Cairo, which was then studied by Ministry of Legal Affairs. The National Mine Action Committee used to be called the National Demining Committee.
[2] Interview with M. Al-Fasyel, Director of Ministry of Legal Affairs, Sana'a, 12 March 2002. NMAC believed this would be sufficient to fully implement the Mine Ban Treaty.
[3] Article 7 Report, Form A, 27 April 2002.
[4] Ibid., Form C.
[5] See previous Landmine Monitor Reports for more details on past use and importation of mines.
[6] Article 7 Report, Form G, 27 April 2002. This included 8,174 PPMN-SR-2 mines and 500 PMN mines. Also, email from Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC), 30 April 2002.
[7] Article 7 Report, Form G, 27 April 2002. Also, email from Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, YEMAC, April 2002.
[8] Article 7 Report, Form D, 27 April 2002, reports that 66,674 mines were transferred for destruction in the period 8 September 2001 to 27 April 2002. This included 58,000 POMZ-2 mines in addition to those destroyed on 27 April. There is a discrepancy in accounting. In its 2002 and 2001 Article 7 reports, Yemen reports a stockpile of 78,000 mines (58,500 POMZ-2; 16,000 PPMiSR-2; 2,000 PMN; and 1,500 PMD-6). It retained 4,000 of those mines for training purposes, leaving 74,000 to be destroyed. A total of 5,050 were destroyed on 14 February 2000, and 4,286 on 22 February 2001. This would leave 64,664 to be destroyed since September, not 66,674. See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 987-988.
[9] Canada provided CAN$21,000 for the final stockpile destruction. Yemen’s Article 7 Report, Form F, 27 April 2002. The United States funded the February 2001 destruction. Telephone interview with Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Yemen Mine Action Program, 24 February 2001. The UK provided $12,000. Telephone interview with Scott Pilkington, UN Chief Technical Advisor, Sana'a 8 April 2002.
[10] Article 7 Report, Form D, 27 April 2002.
[11] It is keeping 1,000 each of PMN, POMZ-2, PMD-6 and PPMiSR-2.
[12] The 4,000 mines retained for training were transferred to these locations during the reporting period. Article 7 Report, Form D, 27 April 2002.
[13] Article 7 Report, Form D, 27 April 2002. This includes 30 of each of the four types retained.
[14] Interview with Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, YEMAC, Sana'a, 11 March 2002.
[15] For more detail on the survey methodology and findings, see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 988-989.
[16] Telephone interview with Scott Pilkington, UN Chief Technical Advisor, Sana'a 8 April 2002.
[17] Interview with Kaid Thabet Mokbel, Director, Medical Survey Team, Victim Assistance Department, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 9 May 2002.
[18] U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, “To Walk the Earth in Safety: The United States Commitment to Humanitarian Demining,” November 2001, p. 44.
[19] UN Mine Action Investment Database, 2001 donor report for Germany.
[20] Italy, Article 7 Report, Form J, submitted 2 May 2002. Converted to US dollars by Landmine Monitor on 9 May 2002.
[21] UN Mine Action Investment Database, 2001 donor report for the Netherlands; in the Article 7 Report submitted by the Netherlands on 19 April 2002, the figure is given as €568,000.
[22] UN Mine Action Investment Database, 2001 donor report for Switzerland.
[23] UN Mine Action Investment Database, 2001 donor report for Canada.
[24] Telephone interview with Scott Pilkington, UN Chief Technical Advisor, Sana'a 8 April 2002.
[25] Interview with Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, YEMAC, Sana'a 11 March 2002, and email 24 July 2002.
[26] Five Year Strategic Action Plan for Yemen, 2001-2005; also published in UN Mine Action Service, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects,” February 2002, pp. 250-251.
[27] Interview with Yehia M. Nasser, Director, Operations Department, Regional Technical Executive Unit, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 19 March 2002.
[28] Interview with Fadhle Garama, Director, Regional Technical Executive Unit, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 8 April 2002.
[29] Interview with Mansoor Al Ezzi, Director, YEMAC, Sana’a, 11 March 2002.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Ibid.
[32] Interview with Fadhle Garama, Director, Technical Executive Unit, Aden, 8 April 2002.
[33] Ibid.
[34] UN Mine Action Service, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects,” February 2002, p. 251.
[35] Interview with Saleh A. Montsar, Deputy Director, Regional Technical Unit, Aden, 4 April 2002.
[36] Interview with Nabeel Rassam, Director, Mine Awareness Department, National Mine Action Center, Sana’a, 3 January 2002.
[37] Ibid.
[38] Interview with Aisha Saeed, Chairperson, YMAA, Sana’a, 10 May 2002.
[39] Interview with Kaid Thabet Mokbel, Head of Medical Survey Team, Victim Assistance Department, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 9 May 2002.
[40] Interview with Fadhle Garama, Director, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 8 April 2002.
[41] Telephone interview with a local mine awareness committee member, Qataba, 2 April 2002.
[42] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 993-994.
[43] Opinions from various sources given to Landmine Monitor in confidence.
[44] Interview with Abobaker Abbas, Director of Medical Department, Sana'a, 3 January 2002.
[45] Interview with Alkadher Abdulla, Director of the Victim Assistance Department, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 9 May 2002.
[46] ICRC (Geneva), Special Report, Mine Action 2001, July 2002, p. 39.
[47] See Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 994-995.
[48] Handicap International Belgium Activity Report 2001.
[49] Interview with Roel Janssen, Handicap International Belgium, Aden, 25 March 2002.
[50] Handicap International Belgium Activity Report 2001.
[51] Telephone interview with Soud Al-Hibshi, Community Based Rehabilitation Program Officer, Rädda Barnen, 30 April 2002.
[52] Interview with Roberta Contini, Movimondo, Sana'a 11 March 2002; see also Landmine Monitor Report 2001, p. 994.
[53] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 869-870.
[54] Telephone conversation with Ehab Salem, Chairperson of the Aden Disabled Society, 9 May 2002.