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Country Reports
Yemen, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: By the end of 2002, six of the fourteen high impact communities had been cleared of mines and declared safe. Technical surveys of the other high impact communities were completed. In 2002, eighteen mined areas were cleared, totaling 1,176,406 square meters. Survey teams engaged in area reduction of 570,625 square meters and marked another 3,451,895 square meters. In 2002, 204 antipersonnel mines, 151 antivehicle mines, and 25,361 UXO were destroyed in clearance and survey operations.

Mine Ban Policy

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. The Ministry of Legal Affairs is preparing legislation to implement the treaty, which will be submitted to the Cabinet for approval before being presented to the Parliament.[1]

Yemen served as co-chair of the Mine Ban Treaty Standing Committee on Mine Clearance from September 2001 to September 2002. Yemen attended the Fourth Meeting of States Parties in September 2002 and also participated in Standing Committee meetings in February and May 2003. Yemen submitted its annual Article 7 Report on 10 April 2003. This is the country’s fifth transparency measures report.[2] On 22 November 2002, Yemen voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74, supporting the universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty.

The Yemen Mine Awareness Association (YMAA) distributed the country report on Yemen from Landmine Monitor Report 2002 to media and communities in mine-affected areas. It also translated Landmine Monitor’s Research Guide into Arabic, for use by researchers in the region.

Yemen states that it has never manufactured or exported antipersonnel mines. The last reported use of mines was 1994.[3] On 27 April 2002, Yemen completed destruction of its stockpile of 74,000 antipersonnel mines.[4] Yemen originally retained 4,000 antipersonnel mines for training and research purposes.[5] It has used 240 of the retained mines for mine detecting dog training.[6] The Army does not possess Claymore-type mines.[7]

Landmine Problem and Surveys

A nationwide Landmine Impact Survey, completed in July 2000, identified 592 mine-affected villages in 19 of the country’s 20 governorates.[8] A total of 1,078 mined areas were identified with a reported surface area of 923 million square meters, mainly in the center and south of the country. Approximately 828,000 Yemenis, sixteen percent of the population, are affected by the presence of mines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).

Using the results of the survey, a five-year strategic plan was developed to clear the fourteen high impact communities by 2004. By the end of 2002, six of these communities had been cleared and declared safe. A total of 55 other mined areas have also been cleared to international standards.[9] Technical surveys of the eight remaining high impact communities, covering an area of 22.5 square kilometers, have been completed.[10]

Mine Action Funding

International donor contributions for mine action in Yemen in 2002 totaled at least $5.6 million, up from about $4 million in 2001. Donors in 2002 included Germany ($1,094,000), Saudi Arabia ($1,000,000), United States ($750,000), Netherlands ($500,000), Japan ($486,000), United Kingdom ($414,000), Norway ($278,000), Italy ($250,000), Switzerland ($200,000), Canada ($97,000), and Sweden ($46,000).[11] Another $500,000 was provided through the UNDP.[12]

In 2002, the government of Yemen provided approximately 3 million Yemeni Rials (about US$17,000 at official conversion rates) for the national mine action program, which covered national staff salaries and benefits, social security, healthcare, insurance, and approximately $15,000 for landmine victim assistance.[13]

Mine Action Coordination and Planning

The National Mine Action Committee (NMAC), 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, and the activities of the Regional Executive Mine Action Branch (REMAB Aden). It also executes national mine action plans. In 2003, the Yemen Mine Action Program employs 667 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), as well as working groups to assist with planning and evaluation of mine awareness and victim assistance activities.

In 2002, the Prime Minister passed Resolution No. 282 titled “Reestablishment and reformulation of the National Mine Action Committee and specifying its tasks.” Under this new resolution, four ministries were added to the NMAC, in addition to the deputy director of the Prime Minister’s office and the director of the Technical Executive Unit. The NMAC’s responsibilities and mechanisms were detailed and clarified to ensure effective coordination.[14]

Mine Clearance

A total of 816 national mine action personnel have been trained in survey, clearance, risk education, and victim assistance. They are organized into seven clearance and seven technical survey teams, assisted by three international technical advisors. The number of teams will increase to eight in 2003, as the final training and fielding is finished.[15] Three quality assurance teams are also fully trained and operational. No international commercial companies or NGOs conduct mine clearance in Yemen.

In 2002, a mine detecting dog capability was established, which will also be expanded in 2003. Thirteen dogs arrived from Germany, and eight from Afghanistan, two of which died. Sixteen members of the regional mine action staff are being trained to work with these dogs.[16]

In 2002, the seven mine clearance teams cleared eighteen known mined areas totaling 1,176,406 square meters, detecting and destroying 51 antipersonnel mines, eight antivehicle mine, and 615 UXO. Seven of these cleared areas were handed over to the local authorities. Outside known mined areas, clearance teams destroyed 125 antipersonnel mines, 130 antivehicle mines, and 8,837 UXO.[17]

The seven technical survey teams engaged in area reduction of 570,625 square meters and marked another 3,451,895 square meters. These operations resulted in the detection and destruction of 28 antipersonnel mines, 13 antivehicle mines, and 1,509 UXO.[18]

In January 2003, six dogs started work in minefield quality assurance and area reduction.[19]

Mine Risk Education

In 2002, the Yemen Mine Awareness Association (YMAA) and the mine risk education department at the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden carried out joint activities in Aden, Lahej, Abyan, Ebb, and Aldhala, reaching 84 villages and schools with a total population of 95,044 persons. The organizations made 49 field visits and distributed 19,582 posters and educational games.[20]

Mine risk education (MRE) in Yemen is mainly conducted through field visits and workshops in villages close to mined areas. There is ongoing coordination with key people (Shiekhs, Imams, 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 MRE 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 NMAC’s MRE department produced a documentary film advocating for the Mine Ban Treaty and detailing mine action activities in Yemen, which was shown on Yemeni television in March 2002.

In 2002, the YMAA conducted field visits to community-based programs in Qataba in Al-Dhala governorate and Al-Nadra in Ebb Governorate. YMAA also produced a poster and a storybook depicting mine survivors, as well as three issues of a quarterly MRE newsletter, with support provided by the U.S. Embassy.

In November 2002, Rädda Barnen (Save the Children Sweden) supported a participatory evaluation with YMAA. The results were published at the end of January 2003.[21] The evaluation came after Rädda Barnen had completed its involvement in the project. The evaluation concluded, “The positive impact on children and community members is clear, and the main awareness messages seem to have reached the largest portion of the communities targeted.”[22] It described outreach to women as the weak point of the program. The report acknowledged the role of Rädda Barnen in transforming the local MRE committee into an independent local organization, but described Rädda Barnen’s decision to phase out as “abrupt.” The report highlighted the need for reinforcement MRE sessions “at least every six months” and called for the use of a wider variety of materials in order to reach “those least targeted namely nomadic groups and women.” The report also recommended the inclusion of MRE in the school curriculum to “ensure outreach to the 592 mine affected communities.”[23]

Landmine Casualties

In 2002, 10 mine/UXO incidents were recorded, in which seven people were killed and 12 injured. In addition, on 24 March, two soldiers were injured in a mine accident during a training exercise at the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden. On 15 June, a deminer received serious injuries to his face and right hand when an antipersonnel mine exploded in Maresh village, Ebb governorate.[24] Landmines reportedly kill or injure on average five Yemeni civilians a month, with 231 casualties recorded by the mine action program in the two years to October 2002.[25]

Reported incidents in 2002 include a ten-year-old boy killed and two other children injured on 25 March when UXO they were handling exploded. On 5 April, an explosion in a marked area killed a 40-year-old shepherd, and on 28 April, a UXO explosion in Al Hamra village injured three people, including two girls, aged eight and ten. On 6 May, a man lost his foot and received fragmentation injuries after stepping on a PMN antipersonnel mine in Qataba, Al Dhala. On 5 June, a rocket exploded as children handled it in Sleek village, Radfan, Lahaj governorate, killing two 15-year-old boys and injuring two boys aged four and 13. On 28 June, an 18-year-old lost his left leg and another was injured by an antipersonnel mine in Al Dhama district, Ebb governorate. In July, two boys aged ten and 18 years were killed when they handled an antipersonnel mine in Alow village in Ebb governorate,[26] and on 7 July, one person was injured by an antipersonnel mine in Qataba district. On 23 August, one man was killed when an antivehicle mine exploded in Karesh, Lahaj, and on 29 October, a 15-year-old girl had her left leg amputated after she stepped on an antipersonnel mine while herding livestock in Qataba, Al Dhala.[27]

In 2001, the National Mine Action Center registered five new mine survivors, while the Regional Mine Action Center in Aden reported ten people killed and eight injured in mine incidents.[28]

The Landmine Impact Survey, completed in July 2000, recorded a total of 4,904 casualties in Yemen, of which 2,560 were killed and 2,344 injured.[29]

Survivor Assistance

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 (MOPHP), the Ministry of Insurance and Social Affairs (MOISA), the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, and the international NGOs, ADRA, Handicap International Belgium (HIB), and Rädda Barnen.

The Victim Assistance Department in the National Mine Action Program provides emergency medical assistance to casualties when mine or UXO incidents are reported in any part of Yemen. The Victim Assistance Department developed a medical survey plan to follow up on results of Landmine Impact Survey. It is divided into three stages including a medical survey, diagnosis, and provision of medical support. Implementation of the survey commenced in June 2001 and continued throughout 2002. On 21 January 2002, the Victim Assistance Department referred the first 51 mine/UXO survivors identified in Al-Dhala governorate to the Aden Hospital for medical diagnosis and access to rehabilitation services.[30]

For the year 2002, a total of 132 mine survivors received various forms of assistance including medical examinations; 27 people received prostheses; 25 people received corrective surgery; and two people were provided with wheelchairs.[31]

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continued to assist the MOPHP Artificial Limbs and Physiotherapy Center in Sana’a with the supply of raw materials, components, equipment, and on-the-job training for prosthetic/orthotic technicians. The ICRC also conducted an assessment on behalf of the MOPHP of the new prosthetic workshop that opened in September in Mukalla in the remote Hadramout governorate.[32] As of March 2003, the Mukalla center was reportedly not operational.[33] In 2002, the Sana’a center produced 392 prostheses, of which 41 were for mine survivors, and distributed 325 pairs of crutches and 166 wheelchairs.[34] The Mine Action Program provided US$15,000 in 2002 to support the center in Sana’a.[35]

Handicap International Belgium (HIB) supports two physical rehabilitation centers in Taiz and Aden, in cooperation with MOISA and the MOPHP. Production of below-knee prostheses started in March 2002, when four people received prostheses, including two mine survivors.[36] In 2002, the centers produced 1,661 orthopedic devices,[37] of which 19 were for mine survivors,[38] and provided 4,000 physiotherapy treatments. HIB continues to train orthopedic technicians, assistants and physiotherapists at the centers. The Physical Rehabilitation Center in Taiz began operating independently in 2002 with occasional supervision from HIB. HIB also implemented a program of disability awareness in 2002 and 2003 to assist the integration of people with a disability into their communities. The HIB program was funded by the Yemen Social Fund for Development, EC-Europe Aid, the British Council, and the Yemen Ministry of Public Health and Population in 2002.[39]

The Yemen office of Rädda Barnen supports a MOISA community-based program to assist children with disabilities in the governorates of Aden, Lahej, Abyan, Taiz, and Ebb. Children with landmine injuries are among the beneficiaries. The program was evaluated in 2001 and a workshop held on 26-28 January 2002 to evaluate the outcome and implement the recommendations and lessons learned.[40] In 2002, Rädda Barnen funded projects that included community mobilization activities and training. The program assisted the medical needs of children with disabilities as well as providing office support.[41]

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency’s (ADRA) community based rehabilitation project supports severely disabled persons, including mine survivors. The project was due to end in July 2002 but was extended at the request of the MOISA. The project operates in three districts at Hais in Kowkha, Jabal Ras in Hodieda, and Makbana in Taiz. From 1999 to July 2002, the project assisted 293 mine survivors (some injured as long as 20 years ago) with assistive aids and vocational training. Four mine survivors received loans to start up small businesses.[42] The project is implemented by ADRA Canada with funding support from the Canadian International Development Agency.

The Italian NGO Movimondo’s assistance program provides training for Yemeni physiotherapists and nurses. The Italian government supports a three-year physiotherapy project, which includes the development of a physiotherapy curriculum, in coordination with the Ministry of Health in two health institutes in Sana’a and Aden.[43]

Disability Policy and Practice

Yemen has legislation to protect the rights of all persons with disabilities.[44] On 23 January 2002, Presidential Law Number 2 came into effect which established a care and rehabilitation fund for persons with disabilities.[45] In 2002, the fund supported the Aden Association of the Physically Disabled by covering the costs of their electricity and water bills, amounting to 544,042 YR from 1995 to 2002. The fund also paid for 12 people with a disability to work for five months with the Association, at a cost of YR355,000.[46]

Yemen provided information on activities relating to mine victim assistance in Form I of its annual Article 7 transparency report.[47]

[1] Interview with Rashida Al-Hamadani, Secretary of National Mine Action Committee, Sana’a, 13 November 2002.
[2] See Article 7 reports submitted on 10 April 2003 (for the period 27 April 2002-10 April 2003); 27 April 2002 (for the period: 8 September 2001-27 April 2002); 18 September 2001 (for the period: 14 November 2000 to 8 September 2001); 14 November 2000 (for the period: 30 November 1999 to 14 November 2000); 30 November 1999 (for the period: 4 December 1997-30 November 1999).
[3] See previous Landmine Monitor Reports for more details on past use and importation of mines.
[4] For more details, see Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 522.
[5] Yemen initially kept 1,000 each of PMN, POMZ-2, PMD-6, and PP-Mi-Sr-2.
[6] Article 7 Report, Form D, 10 April 2003. Yemen used 60 of each of the four types retained. This is the first time it has reported use of retained mines.
[7] Interview with Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, Yemen Executive Mine Action Center, Sana'a, 11 March 2002.
[8] Al-Mahweet was the only governorate declared mine-free. See Survey Action Center/Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, “Landmine Impact Survey: Republic of Yemen,” Washington DC, October 2000.
[9] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects 2003,” October 2002, p. 258.
[10] Interview with Faiz Mohamed, Quality Assurance Advisor/Trainer, UNDP, Sana’a, 13 July 2003; “Mine Action Report 2002: First in Mine Action” brochure, December 2002.
[11] These figures were compiled from the UN Mine Action Investments Database and other Landmine Monitor Report 2003 country reports.
[12] Interview with Faiz Mohamed, Quality Assurance Advisor/Trainer, UNDP, Sana’a, 4 January 2003.
[13] Yemen Executive Mine Action Center, “Annual Report 2002.”
[14] Interview with Rashida Al-Hamadani, NMAC, 13 November 2002. This resolution is a revision of Resolution No. 46 (1998), which authorized the Minister of Cabinet Affairs to lead the work of the NMAC and further regulate its modes of operation and agenda. The ministries added are Information, Agriculture, Public Works and Urban Development, and Environment.
[15] UN, “Portfolio of Mine-Related Projects 2003,” p. 257.
[16] Interview with Faiz Mohamed, UNDP, Sana’a, 5 January 2003.
[17] Interview with Ali A. Raqeeb, Director of Operations, NMAC, Sana’a, 5 January 2003.
[18] Ibid.
[19] Interview with Faiz Mohamed, UNDP, Sana’a, 5 January 2003.
[20] Interview with Mohamed Abobaker, Director, Mine Awareness Department, Regional Mine Action Center, Aden, 15 January 2003.
[21] Interview with Aisha Saeed, Programme Officer in charge of Aden Office, Rädda Barnen, Aden, 16 January 2003.
[22] Muzna Al-Masri and Aisha Saeed, Rädda Barnen and Yemen Mine Awareness Association, “Report on Participatory Review of Mine Awareness Education in Yemen,” January 2003, p. 3.
[23] Ibid, pp. 16-18.
[24] YMAA collects reports of mine incidents through the media, security authorities, sheiks, and villagers. Survivor assistance staff also collects data while interviewing mine survivors.
[25] Nasser Arrabyee, “Riyadh pledges $2m for Yemen demining drive,” Gulf News, 2 October 2002.
[26] Fax to YMAA from Al Nadra local council, Ebb governorate, 12 July 2002.
[27] Interview with Kaid Thabet, Deputy Director, Victim Assistance Department, National Mine Action Program, Aden, 25 January 2003.
[28] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 525.
[29] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 2001, pp. 993-994.
[30] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 526.
[31] Yemen Mine Action Center, “Annual Report 2002;” interview with Kaid Thabet, National Mine Action Program, 25 January 2003.
[32] ICRC, “Annual Report 2002,” Geneva, June 2003, pp. 323-324.
[33] Telephone interview with Mansoor Al-Ezzi, Director, YEMAC, Sana'a, 29 March 2003.
[34] ICRC Physical Rehabilitation Program, “Annual Report 2002,” Geneva, June 2003.
[35] Minutes of the National Mine Action Committee, 30 July 2002.
[36] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 526.
[37] Handicap International Belgium (HIB), “Activity Report 2002,” Brussels, 10 June 2003, p. 26.
[38] Interview with Laila Bashumaily, Director of Special Needs Center and Supervisor of HIB Prosthetic Workshop, Aden, 15 January 2003.
[39] HIB, “Activity Report 2002,” 10 June 2003, p. 26.
[40] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 526.
[41] Interview with Suad Al-Hibishi, Program Officer, Rädda Barnen, Sana’a, 23 January 2003.
[42] Interview with Tania Nelson, Director of Community Based Rehabilitation Project, ADRA, Sana’a, 23 December 2002.
[43] Interview with Nasser Hizam, Public Relations, Movimondo, Sana’a, 24 December 2002.
[44] For details see Landmine Monitor Report 1999, pp. 869-870.
[45] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 527.
[46] Information provided by Ehab Mohamed Salem, Chairperson, Aden Association for the Physically Disabled.
[47] Article 7, Form I, 10 April 2003.