+   *    +     +     
About Us 
The Issues 
Our Research Products 
Order Publications 
Press Room 
Resources for Monitor Researchers 
Table of Contents
Country Reports
YEMEN, Landmine Monitor Report 1999



Until 1990 Yemen was divided into two independent countries: North Yemen and South Yemen. Prior to unification, for several decades, both countries engaged in armed conflicts where antitank and antipersonnel mines were deployed. However, most of the mines were planted during the border conflicts of 1970-1983 and during the May-July 1994 civil war, when separatists in the South fought for dissolving the union.

Mine Ban Policy

Yemen signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 1 September 1998. It was one of the only governments in the Middle East that actively participated in the Ottawa Process. It attended the Vienna and Brussels treaty preparatory meetings, endorsed the pro-treaty Brussels Declaration in June 1997, and was a full participant in the treaty negotiations in Oslo in September 1997. Yemen voted in favor of the pro-ban UN General Assembly Resolutions in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

In November 1997 a Regional Seminar on Landmines was organized by the Yemeni Mines Awareness Committee and Rädda Barnen (Swedish Save the Children), sponsored by Rädda Barnen, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and hosted by the President’s Office.[1] Eleven regional governments were represented: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and United Arab Emirates. NGO representatives came from Egypt, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The Sana’a Declaration was approved of by all the participants.[2] The declaration urges all countries to sign the Mine Ban Treaty and calls for assistance from the international community to support humanitarian demining assistance not only for those countries that sign the treaty but also for those who have not signed yet, but whose populations suffer from the mine threat.

The bill ratifying the Mine Ban Treaty was passed in the Parliament on 12 May 1998 and the ratification instrument was deposited at the UN in New York 1 September 1998, making the Republic of Yemen the 34th country to ratify the convention.

The Parliament of Yemen issued, and the President signed, Law No. 8/98 on 8 June 1998. The law states that the government of the Republic of Yemen will enforce the ban from the day the law was issued.

Yemen is a state party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Protocol II on landmines, but has not ratified the amended Protocol II (1996).

Production, Transfer, and Stockpiling

According to the government, Yemen has never manufactured or exported antipersonnel mines.[3] For many years, Yemen imported significant numbers of landmines, primarily from the Soviet Union, as well as Czechoslovia, Hungary, and Italy.[4]

Yemen has a stockpile of antipersonnel mines, but the government has not revealed the total number of mines. According to Paul Kelly, the United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs (UNDHA) landmine specialist, who worked on a demining program in Aden as an advisor to the Ministry of Defense from March 1995 to March 1996, the following AP mines were in the army’s armory: [5]





























In the Aden governorate, fuses and explosives were removed from 42,000 AP mines and destroyed in June 1998 at Al Whaf outside Little Aden. These defused mines are now in storage in Aden (this is a storage for the Aden, Abyan, Lahej and Taez governorates).[6]

No timetable for destruction of the remaining stockpiled AP mines has been set yet. Neither have plans for destruction methods been mentioned. Yemen is still waiting for the donors that have expressed interest in giving aid to their mine action program to decide on how they are going to assist and how much money will be made available.

There have not been any discussions about how many mines need to be kept for training purposes.

Weapons of any kind including AP mines are still available in special arms outlets, open to the public for trade. At a study visit at the arms soukh at Jehanna outside Sana’a on 15 February 1999 no landmines were on display, but according to the salesmen, landmines could be delivered upon request.[7] The government is very concerned about this problem and tries to enforce the 1992 law that forbids unlicensed keeping of arms.


According to the Ministry of Defense, it is no longer using any AP mines; the last time AP mines were used was during the 1994 “separatist war.” The different types of landmines that have been used in Yemen and which are still in the ground are as follows:[8]

In Haja and Al Gauf governorates:








TM 46N


TM 46


TM 44



Most of these mines were planted during the republican - royalist war of 1962-1975. The Egyptian army helped on the republican side. All three parties have planted the mines.

In Ibb, Dhala, Rada, Al Beida and Taez governorates, the following mines have been identified:

















In Al Baida, Aden, Abyan, Lahej, Shabwa and Hadhramout governorates, the same types of mines listed in the section on stockpiling were planted during the 1994 separatist war.

Anti-handling devices and booby traps are not known to have been used in Yemen.[9]

Landmine Problem

Estimates of the number of mines planted in Yemen vary. The 1997 UN landmine database and a 1998 U.S. State Department report estimate that Yemen has 100,000 landmines on its territory.[10] A September 1998 UN Mine Action Service report states, “Just as there is no clear picture of the mined areas, there is also no accurate estimated number of landmines laid: the figures mentioned range from 150,000 (US estimate) to two million landmines” (estimate from the Head of the Security in Aden).”[11]

Following are affected areas, in order of the conflict during which they were mined:

  • 1962 -1975, the conflict between the republicans and the royalists in the North. It is believed that only a few land mines were planted on this occasion, since they were not available in large quantities at the time.[12] Known mined areas in the mountains and plains in this conflict are in the following governorates: Al Gauwf and Haja.[13] No maps exist.
  • 1963-1967, the war of independence in the South. Just as in the North, landmines were not easily available during this period and are unlikely to have been widely used.[14] A few areas in Radman, Dhala and Abyan are known to have been planted during this period. Nomads in the desert areas, in particular, seem to have been experiencing problems with mines.[15]
  • • 1970-1983, the leftist guerrilla war in the central provinces, in particular along the borders between the North and the South of Yemen. The guerrilla war of the 1970s against North Yemen affected mostly the central provinces, in particular Taez, Ibb, Dhamar and Al-Baidha governorates. According to the government, up to one million antipersonnel mines were scattered in very fertile agricultural and grazing areas during this conflict.[16] Other areas affected during this period are Shabwa, Harib, Mukairas and Khataba.[17] No maps exist but the movements of sand dunes and floods have revealed several mines.
  • 1994 separatist war. Large numbers of landmines were reportedly laid in the southern governorates of Aden, Lahej, and Abyan and in the eastern governorates of Hadhramout and Shabwa. Yemeni sources estimate that as many as 100,000 landmines, mostly antitank landmines, were then planted, while large quantities of UXOs remained in different areas. In the beginning of the war the landmines were planted by engineers, who used machinery, in Aden, Lahej and Abyan, but later on landmines were laid by inexperienced soldiers and militia, working hastily, who neither kept proper records, nor marked or fenced infested areas.[18] Therefore, information about mine infested locations relies primarily on the memory of military personnel or former military personnel or the communities.

Colonel Al Sheibani, Head of the National Demining Center, mentioned eight affected areas in the Taez, Ibb, Dhamar and Al Baidha governorates at the regional landmine Seminar on 3-4 November 1997:[19]

- Al Riyashie - Radaa - Gaban

- Al Radhma - Damt - Murais

- Al Sadda - Al Nadra

- Al Sabra - Nagd Al Gamai - Katabaa

- Allod - Al Shaar - Al Ala - Al Asfal

- Al Waziya

- Mawia - Al Hisha - Al Rahda

- Wisab Otma

According to Colonel Al Sheibani 30% of mines are found in the populated areas, 10% along main roads and caravan paths and 60% in the desert. The mines were planted at the edges and in the middle of many agricultural fields and in populated areas. Different mines were planted in the same row. The depths vary from 30 -60 cm under the surface. Both antitank and antipersonnel mines were planted together in some areas to increase the explosion effect.[20]

Sixty-four minefields have been located in Aden, Lahej and Abyan governorates and twenty-seven in Hadhramout. Approximately 30% of the mined area is cleared there.[21]

In Aden and its surroundings where UXOs have been a major problem, 315 tons of ordnance and missiles have been destroyed.[22] In Shabwa and Hadhramout most landmines are located in desert areas and one third of them in populated areas in the wadis, often close to main roads. A thorough survey of all areas where suspected mine fields exist has yet to be conducted. This is what the staff at the newly established demining centers are being trained for by US experts. The training was scheduled to be completed in April 1999.

Mine Action Funding

There is no figure available on what the government of Yemen has spent on demining or survivor assistance. External funding has come from the governments of Canada and the United States. Canada has granted $800,000 for extra protective demining suits, trucks, mine awareness education and mine survivors support. It has also allocated $950,000 for a level one survey.[23] The United States contributed $2.978 million in 1997-98, with another $1.7 million programmed for 1999.[24]

UNDHA funded a one year program with a landmine specialist as an advisor to the Ministry of Defense' Demining Unit.[25] Some new demining equipment and a computer were also donated to the Ministry of Defense at the end of the project. UNDP financed a one-year program, March 1995-March 1996, on technical demining assistance to the Ministry of Defense (no figures available for the cost of the project) and has also helped in co-funding the Regional Landmine Seminar in November 1997 with $10,000. UNICEF funded some TV programs during the 1995 mine awareness campaign at the cost of $2,000 and co-funded the Regional Landmine Seminar in November 1997 with $7,500 and the National Landmine Seminar in March 1998 with $1,030.

Regular records up to now have not been kept for the cost of humanitarian mine action programs carried out by the government. By establishing the National and Regional Demining Centers, an integrated mine action program is planned, and there will also be a data base in place to keep the records of the work of all the departments (covering surveys, mine clearance, victim/survivor assistance, mine awareness education, logistics and training).

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has secured $518,569 from the Voluntary Trust Fund for a number of different surveys, among them the level one survey, that is going to be conducted by the Survey Action Center.[26]

After the UNMAS joint mission had finished their visit to Yemen and their report was written, Yemen was chosen to get funds for the surveys, since it would be a potentially manageable project to get a mine action program working and Yemen is one of the few countries committed to the landmine issue in the region after having both signed and ratified the Mine Ban Treaty. [27]

UNDP has from their track three fund earmarked US$500,000 for a mine action program together with the government’s new demining centers.[28] UNDP is also trying to set up a local UNDP Trust Fund for the government, where donors can allocate their country funding for the mine action program directly. The money from the track three fund will be allocated here as well, once the local trust fund is established.

The goal of the UNDP program is to coordinate and supplement the funding of the different donors to Yemens mine action program, to give technical assistance to capacity building of the mine action program.[29] Vehicles and computers are missing for making the centers operational, but nations like Canada, Japan, Norway and Germany have indicated that they are prepared to help funding.

Mine Clearance

The Ministry of Defense estimates that they have taken out and deactivated around 48,000 landmines since the beginning of April 1995, and prior to that approximately 20,000 in Aden, Lahej and Abyan. The major problem is that even if a field has been cleared, it has in some places been done in an erratic way and some mines may have been left behind in some fields. The terrain is difficult with moving sand dunes, which either expose the mines, which can be attractive to a curious child, or bury them deeply, so the mine detectors will not locate them.[30]

Approximately thirty AP mines and 15,000 antitank mines were cleared between 1994 -1997.[31] During this period, 306 camels were reported killed by mines in the desert of Hadhramout. There was also a fatal accident when twelve deminers died.[32] At the moment, Ministry of Defense demining unit is working in Hadhramout and has also helped a Canadian oil company there to clear a site for drilling.

In establishing the National Demining Committee on 17 June 1998 as an implementing body and laying down its constitution and objectives, the Prime Minister’s Resolution No. 46 of 1998 has authorized the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs to lead the work of the Committee and further regulate its modes of operation and agenda. The Minister of State has subsequently made a detailed Resolution, regulating in further detail the work and the structures and tasks of subordinate organizational structures like Branch Committees, a Technical Executive Unit and a Secretariat.[33] The staff of the newly established demining center is still in training, but was scheduled to start the survey right at the end of April 1999.

The Demining Unit headed by the Engineering Department of The Ministry of Defense has been the sole mine clearer to date. However, when the staff at the Operation Department of the Demining Center is fully trained by the US team at the end of April 1999, they will have nine demining teams ready. Most of this staff already work with the Engineering Department.

Demining is going on at the moment in a mined area in Eastern Shabwa on the border to Hadhramout, where the Ministry of Defense’ Engineering Department is clearing mines at an oil drilling site, which is prospected by Calvany, a Canadian oil company.[34] These areas, Wadi Hagr, Hajr Marifa and Safer had all been cleared already once before, but the oil company wanted a second clearance, since the first was done in a haphazard way and therefore not proved to be safe. It is very difficult to remove the mines in these areas due to the moving sand dunes.[35]

As mentioned earlier, since no proper survey has been conducted yet, very few maps of minefields exist and the clearance that has taken place has often been done in an erratic way due to outdated equipment and ineffective methods, there are no accurate figures about either the magnitude of mines, the number of the minefields or their locations. There are however figures given on how many fields that have been cleared. Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi mentioned in his report regarding clearance in the Southern governorates that 30% is estimated to have been cleared after the 1994 war.[36] UNDHA’s demining expert Paul Kelly says in his final report that forty-nine minefields in Aden governorate were mentioned to him to have been cleared before his arrival.[37]

On 17 June 1998, National and Regional Demining centers were formally established. The Regional Demining Center was opened to start the training of their staff on 20 October 1998. The National Demining Committee is heading the work and the chair person is the Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs. Other board members are the Director of the Military Engineering Department, the Deputy Minister of Public Health, the Deputy Minister of Social Affairs, the Deputy Minister of Interior, the Deputy Minister of Information, the Deputy Minister of Education, the Director of Work and Administration at the Prime Minister’s Office, a representative from the Ministry of Planning, a representative from the Environment Protection Council and a representative from the Yemen Mine Awareness Association. There is also a corresponding Regional Demining Committee, chaired by the Governor of Aden.

The composition of the committees reflects an understanding of that humanitarian demining involves the civil society and all concerned ministries and not only the Ministry of Defense.

The tasks of the Chairman of the National Committee are:

- to supervise the implementation of the Demining Policy

- to supervise the demining operations

- to coordinate the support presented by NGOs

- to modify the organizational structure of the Committee

- to appoint the employees in the Central and Branch executive units

- to represent the Committee with others

- to designate any mission to the members of the Committee and the Branch Committees

The departments of the demining centers are:

- Operation, Training and Planning Department with sections like Data and Service section

- Awareness Department with information section, publication and printing section

- Logistics and Financial department

- Social Services department with medical, social affairs and education affairs sections.

The U.S. has allocated $2.5 million for training of the demining centers’ staff and some equipment. UNDP has volunteered to be the coordinating donors’ agency. Already $500,000 have been allocated in a trust fund, but more is needed to make the centers viable.

Since the staff in the centers are still in training, their work has not yet begun, but there have already been suggested priorities for where mine clearance should be carried out: populated areas, lands to be populated, highly mine affected areas, agricultural lands, and areas of economic importance.[38]

It is mainly the densely populated areas like Aden city that have benefited from mine clearance. Aden city has been declared a free-trade zone and the cleared land is being used for investments in the free-trade zone. Some agricultural areas benefit primarily people on the outskirts of Aden and in some Hadhramout villages. However, many areas have to be recleared since the first attempts were unsatisfactory.

Mine Awareness

Rädda Barnen and the Yemen Mine Awareness Association (YMAA) are at the moment training the communities in mine awareness education in four areas: Al Habil in Lahej governorate, Al Kood in Abyan governorate and Masabeen and Amran in Aden governorate.

After the two-month-long war in 1994, Rädda Barnen interviewed war affected children in the Aden governorate and found that there was an understanding of problems with not only landmines but also UXOs, that remained in several places, and which many children were tempted to pick up. Rädda Barnen invited partner organizations, including the Child-to-Child Association, the Girl Guides and the Boy Scouts, the Red Crescent, the Committee for War Traumatized Children, representatives from Ministries of Education, Defense, Interior, Health and Social Affairs, international agencies as UNICEF, UNHCR, UNDHA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to a workshop on landmines, focused on mines awareness education, in April 1995 in Aden.[39]

Mine awareness materials used in the Somali and Rwandan mine awareness campaigns were introduced by UNESCO PEER staff from Nairobi and the landmine situation in the south of Yemen was presented by two officers from Ministry of Defense’ demining unit and the UNDHA demining expert. As a result of this workshop the Yemen Mines Awareness Committee was established. Together with Rädda Barnen, the Yemen Mines Awareness Committee has worked with mines awareness education in the three Southern governorates of Aden, Lahej and Abyan since 1995.

In December 1995 and January 1996, a mine awareness campaign was carried out in most of the primary schools in the three Southern governorates. The preparations for this campaign started in April 1995 in cooperation with Rädda Barnen. Fifteen trainers workshops for 502 school staff in the three governorates were implemented. 10,000 posters, 150,000 booklets with 10,000 teachers' manuals were designed by members of the Mines Awareness Committee and printed in time for reaching over 140,000 school children, who in turn gave mines awareness messages to their families and communities.[40]

In addition to this campaign a special in-depth program on mines awareness was implemented with the Child-to-Child approach, in nineteen schools where 109 school staff members were trained to involve 25,150 pupils.[41]

Currently, the Yemen Mine Awareness Association (in December 1998 the Yemen Mines Awareness Committee registered as a nongovernmental organization and took on the name Yemen Mine Awareness Association) and Rädda Barnen carry out a community based mines awareness project in four villages; Al Kood (Abyan governorate) with 18,838 inhabitants; Amran with 1,900 inhabitants and Masabeen with 1,132 inhabitants (both Aden governorate); and Al Habil with 6,575 inhabitants (Lahej governorate).

The key people like community leaders, the sheiks, the akhels, the headmasters, the imams, teachers, members of women’s associations, primary health care workers and even school children, around 160 persons in the four areas, have been trained in workshops by YMAA sponsored by Rädda Barnen. The trained villagers will in their turn pass on the mine awareness messages to the community.

The communities have also been encouraged to give as much information as possible to the demining center's demining unit regarding known mined areas and also to inform about any UXO, landmine or other ammunition, that are kept in their houses, so that the demining unit can destroy it. It has proved to be effective to have a staff member from the demining unit on the mine awareness education team. The communities have had the opportunity to ask about mines/UXOs and through several visits by the team to establish a relationship that has lead to trust, and therefore a lot of information from the villagers has come forward.

Quick responses from the demining unit to the villagers’ call, when a suspicious object has turned up, has also lead to trust and good cooperation, which will also benefit the mine clearance team covering these areas in the future.

Staff from the mine awareness department in the regional demining center are under training by the US trainers. They have good cooperation with the YMAA. Before the US team started their training, the YMAA and Rädda Barnen invited them to a one day meeting, where the community based mine awareness approach they use was introduced and discussed. Members of the YMAA have also been invited to the US team training at the demining center.

The YMAA has also suggested in their Proposal for Mine Awareness Guidelines for Yemen that there should not be several different mine awareness programs. Instead it is better to have a joint program together with the demining center in order to have a better impact and not to confuse the communities. The proposal stresses the importance of good coordination and cooperation, not only among the different departments within the demining center but also with the communities and the donors to make a good integrated mine action program work.

Landmine Casualties

There are still no clear records kept of accidents and deaths in connection with mines/UXOs. Some hospitals have registered accidents, but so many injured or killed never reach the hospitals and are therefore not registered.

Most accidents are likely to go unreported for fear of questioning by the police or the army. However, according to the Ministry of Interior, landmines and UXOs have claimed a total of 723 victims in Yemen between 1992 and 1996 (an average of fifteen victims each month), of which 204 have died of their injuries: The majority of the accidents reported have occurred in the governorates of Aden (ninety-seven victims), Sana’a (ninety-three victims), Ibb (eighty-five victims), Lahej (sixty-six victims), Taez (fifty-eight victims), and Al Hudeida (fifty-six victims). Approximately 75% of them were caused by landmines, and 25% by other explosive devices.”[42]

In connection with the Rädda Barnen/YMAA mine awareness programs, a survey on mine victims/survivors has been conducted. This is the first real survey on mine/UXOs accidents, to be undertaken in Yemen. In 1996 a team of the YMAA (Yemen Mine Awareness Association) also interviewed police, security and hospital staff in the three governorates of Aden, Abyan and Aden, but it turned out to be difficult, since most hospitals would not give out any data, and many police stations did not have complete records.

The following figures show the rate of mine/UXO accidents in the four areas now surveyed by the YMAA, during the period May 1994 - December 1998:

  • Al Habil with surrounding small villages, Lahej governorate, with a total population of 6,575 inhabitants has had twenty-seven deaths and twenty-three injuries.
  • Al Kood with surrounding small villages, Abyan governorate with a total population of 18,838 has had twenty-seven deaths and twenty-seven injuries.
  • Amran with surrounding villages, Aden governorate with a population of 1,900 inhabitants has had two deaths and eleven injuries.
  • Masabeen, Aden governorate with a population of 1,132 inhabitants has had four deaths and eight injuries.

Of all the deaths, ten were killed by landmines, twelve by UXOs and thirty-four by direct explosions during the war. Of all the survivors fourteen were injured by landmines, thirty-three by UXOs, and twenty-one by direct explosions during the war. Of all the deaths, nine were children (although in Al Kood village they had not registered the age) from the villages of Masabeen, Imran, and Al Habil. Of all the survivors, seventeen were children from the same three villages.

Apart from the government’s attempts at mine clearance, villagers have in some cases used their sheep to clear safe paths. This has been practiced in the Ibb governorate, according to one of the sheiks there. Many villages are also very remote and a number of accidents might go unreported.

As an indication that accidents continue to occur regularly, the UNMAS assessment team was told during a visit to Al Jumhuriat Hospital, Sana’a’s main referral hospital for mine victims, that eight mine victims had been treated there during the months of March and April 1998. Seven of these victims were between seven and thirty years old, and three of them had to have a limb amputated as a result of their accident.

Landmine Survivor Assistance

Health facilities in Yemen are inadequate in most regions. Only the main cities have hospitals. In the rural areas there are health clinics, but often staff, essential medicines, transport and other necessary facilities are lacking.

Mrs. Sharon Beatty, Adviser to the Ministry of Health, said in an interview in Sana’a 26 February 1999, that First Aid is taught to all Health Care Staff in their training, but it is not followed up and there is no quality control in the field. She added in the same interview that in some schools, although it is not in the curriculum, the Red Crescent society has held First aid Training with the schoolchildren.

Sana’a, the capital city, and other major cities like Taez and Aden have surgical units, that amputate. More training is however also needed there, and in 1999 the Italian Government Emergency Unit will start a bilateral project, training Yemeni surgeons, specifically on mine victims operations.[43]

There are two orthopedic workshops, one in Sana’a and one in Taez, the latter one led by Handicap International (HI), that can provide prostheses for under-the knee-limbs. In Sana’a the orthopedic workshop is funded by the WHO, that has also trained the staff to produce artificial legs. None of the centers though have the capacity to make functioning arms or hands. The Canadian Embassy in Yemen approved a contribution of $7,000 for raw materials for prostheses.[44]

According to Handicap International in Taez, they have treated nineteen mine survivors, which is 14% of the total number of 139 patients they have assisted during the period of operation of their center, September 1997 - September 1998. Fourteen of the nineteen survivors were men and most of them had tampered with mines/UXOs.[45]

ADRA, an international NGO, which is working with community based health projects in the Tihama area, will start a project on assistance to mine survivors, funded by the Canadian government.

The Ministry of Social Affairs has a Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) program for Children with Disabilities in several parts of Yemen. In the Southern Governorates of Lahej, Aden and Abyan children with landmine injuries are among the beneficiaries. Rädda Barnen’s advisor to this program has reported on these cases.[46]

With regard to victim reintegration, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational training is running twenty-three vocational training centers throughout the country. These centers are providing some short term vocational courses for those unemployed who possess a minimum level of education, and occasionally they accept physically disabled people. In addition, the Ministry of Social Affairs is running two vocational training centers, one in Sana’a and one in Aden, each of which deals specifically with the integration of persons with disabilities.[47]

The Yemeni government has not singled out mine victims/survivors from other persons with disabilities. But people with disabilities in need of support are entitled to a small allowance equivalent to $10 to $14 per month.

In a Landmine Monitor interview in Sana’a, 24 February 1998, Undersecretary Saleh Ahmed Ali at the Ministry of Social Affairs gave the following information on resolutions taken, which are in a draft submitted to the Parliament for a Care and Rehabilitation of the Disabled Act:

Article 5 of the draft act stipulates that all categories of disabled persons, shall according to their individual needs, be entitled to one or more of the following benefits:

- welfare

- special equipment

- education

- rehabilitation or training

- suitable work in the case of those with vocational qualifications, those who have been rehabilitated and those who are educated

- follow up in the case of those who have been employed to ensure they are settled in their jobs

- tax exemptions in the case of those who are employed

- enjoyment of concessional use of various means and transport

- exemptions from customs duty for aids, equipment and educational training materials that they are obliged to import on account of their disability

- facilitated access to mobility in public places.

Article 11 of the draft act entitles disabled persons right to all stages of education, and article 21 ensures the right to employment commensurate with the level of rehabilitation. By the Government’s own admission, however, these acts have not been applied in practice and remain to a large extent not enforced.

In terms of the right to schooling the 1994 Constitution stresses “education for all” at the basic level. Law no 45 of 1992 articles 6, 8 and 9 state that public education is for all and emphasizes social justice and equal opportunities in education. It specifically states that “the Government of Yemen is committed to provide compulsory education for all children including children with disabilities.”

The Society for the Physically Disabled is a watchdog group that not only tries to see that the government lives up to its policy, but also trains young men and women in secretarial duties and computer skills, so that they will have a chance to fit in as clerks in a ministry department.

Assistance to mine survivors in the form of prostheses and allowances has not been separated from other cases of disabilities, therefore no special figures can be mentioned.

A family with a disabled member and in need of assistance is entitled to a monthly allowance of 1.200 YER up to 2000 YER (around US$ 8-14) per month. At the moment 46,856 disabled persons are registered at the Social Fund department at the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs.[48] Few people in the rural areas know of this right to assistance though. The same applies to the right to help with prostheses, many people are not aware of this form of assistance.

Both the government through its rehabilitation centers in Sana’a and Aden, and Handicap International’s center in Taez have assisted with prostheses. The waiting list for receiving prostheses is up to six months in Taez.

The War Victim’s Society has 4,600 members registered. They are all former soldiers, but there is no statistics of how many of them are mine/UXO survivors. The government has allocated a budget of $350,000 for the society. Every member has around $28 as a monthly allowance. Some money is spent on rehabilitation, vocational training and surgeries.[49]

The Society for the Physically Disabled with Headquarters in Sana’a have 5,500 disabled members. They estimate 40% of them to be war victims, but the mine/UXO survivors are not singled out as special cases. Therefore no special statistics is available. To members in need they give assistance in kind.


[1]The Yemeni Mines Awareness Committee, a group of members and staff from different Yemeni NGOs and ministries, that in December 1998 registered as a separate NGO under the name Yemen Mine Awareness Association. They have mainly dealt with mine awareness education in mine infested areas in the south of Yemen and advocacy work on banning landmines.

[2]See Christina Nelke, Report on Regional Seminar on Landmines, Sana’a, Republic of Yemen, November 3 – 4 1997, pp. 17 – 18.

[3]Interview with Colonel Al Sheibani, Head of the National Demining Center, Sana’a, 23 January 1999.

[4]United Nations Mine Action Service, Joint Assessment Mission Report: Yemen, 21 September 1998.

[5]Department of Humanitarian Affairs, United Nations Program of Technical Assistance in Demining, Republic of Yemen, Final report by Paul Kelly, 28 June 1996, p. 3.

[6]Landmine Monitor interview with the Head of the Mine Clearance Department at the Regional Demining Center, Fadhle Mohammed Obaid Garama, Aden, 7 October 1998.

[7]Study visit by Rädda Barnen staff 15 February 1999 at Jehanna arms soukh.

[8]See The Magnitude of Landmine Problems and Executed Efforts in Demining in the Republic of Yemen, a paper presented at a donor’s meeting in September 1998 in Sana’a by Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, Director of the Military Engineering Department and member of the National Demining Committee, pp. 7, 12, 14, 15.

[9]See UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report on Yemen.

[10]United Nations, Country Report: Yemen, at http://www.un.org/Depts/Landmine/country/yemen.htm.

[11]See UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, pp. 7, 8.

[12]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 7.

[13]Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, The magnitude of landmine problems..., p. .6.

[14]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 7.

[15]Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, The magnitude of Landmine Problems... , p. 8.

[16]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 7.

[17]Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, The magnitude of Landmine Problems..., p. 10.

[18]Ibid., pp. 4, 5. See also UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 8.

[19]Colonel Al Sheibani, Yemen Policy Towards Landmine Problem, November 3-4 1997, pp. 13, 14.

[20]Colonel Al Sheibani, Yemen Policy..., p. 5.

[21]Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, The Magnitude of the Landmines Problem...., p. 5

[22]Colonel Al Sheibani, Yemen Policy..., p. 9.

[23]Landmine Monitor interview Sana’a, 8 February 1999, with Mr. Ian Shaw, First Secretary at the Embassy of Canada, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

[24]U.S. State Department, Demining Program Financing History fact sheet, dated 11 January 1999.

[25]Paul Kelly, United Nations Program of Technical Assistance in Demining, Final Report.

[26]Landmine Monitor interview with UNDP official.

[27]Landmine Monitor interviews with different UNMAS staff in Ottawa at the Landmine Monitor meeting 1-2 December 1998 and the UNICEF meeting in Florence 13-15 December 1998.

[28]The Track Three Fund is an ‘outside country fund’, extra mobilized money, that is not included in the ordinary UNDP country fund. Landmine Monitor interview Sana’a, 7 February 1999, with Carmen Niethammer, Project Officer at the Yemen UNDP office.


[30]Christina Nelke, A Review of the Mines Awareness Program in the Three Yemeni Governorates Aden, Lahej and Abyan, 15 February 1997, p. 3. This information was originally given by UNDHA’s demining advisor Paul Kelly in an interview in April 1995.

[31]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 8.

[32]Colonel Al Sheibani, Yemen Policy...,p. 11.

[33]Landmine Monitor Interview, Sana’a, 22 January 1999 with Rashida Al Hamdani.

[34]Landmine Monitor interview, 27 January 1999, with Colonel Al Sheibani.

[35]Landmine Monitor interview, RB office Aden, 13 January 1999, with Fadhle Mohammed Obaid Garama, Head of the Mine Clearance Department at the Regional Demining Center.

[36]Dr. Hussein Abdul Kawi, The Magnitude of the Landmine Problem...p. 5.

[37]Paul Kelly, UNDHA, United Nations Program of Technical...p 6.

[38]Colonel Al Sheibani, Yemen Policy...p. 18.

[39]Nelke, A Review of the Mines Awareness..., .p. 2.

[40]Ibid., p. 7

[41]Ibid., p. 7

[42]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 9.

[43]Interview with staff from the Italian Embassy, Sana’a, 22 January 1999.

[44]Letter from D.E. Hobston, Ambassador, Canadian Embassy to Director, Handicap International, Taiz, Yemen, 3 March 1998. Provided by Handicap International.

[45]Handicap International Report, Statistics Sur Les Amputes, by Barbieux Marie-Aude, Yemen 1998.

[46]Jane Brouillette, RBs (Swedish Save the Children) advisor on CBR to the Ministry of Social Affairs, interview 15/1 1999.

[47]UNMAS, Joint Assessment Mission Report, p. 12.

[48]Landmine Monitor interview 24, January 1999, with Mansoor Al Fiadhi, director of Social Fund Department at the Ministry of Social Affairs.

[49]Landmine Monitor Interview 24 January 1999, with Mr. Yahiya Al Moshiki, Chairman of the War Victim Society.