AS many as 348 people were killed in 2020 due to mines and explosive devices laid in large swaths of war-torn Yemen, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA) said on Sunday.
In a joint statement, the UNDP and UNMHA said that planting mines in Yemen continues to increase, putting the lives of many Yemenis at great risk.
“Despite the continuous and notable efforts of the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) across the country, mine contamination continues to increase, posing a significant threat to the security and safety of all Yemenis,” they said in a joint statement.
“Littered across the country, mine and unexploded ordnance contamination is a major risk of death and injury to civilians as 348 people perished in 2020,”
It added that the UNDP and YEMAC removed about 64,000 Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) last year in 16 Yemeni provinces.
“Ongoing cooperation between UNDP and YEMAC has resulted in the restoration of thousands of livelihoods, strengthened local demining capacity – including the certification of Yemen’s first woman deminer – and assisted Yemen with the implementation of key mine action convention obligations,” explains Auke Lootsma, UNDP Yemen Resident Representative.
According to the joint statement, 177,000 to go back to their homes where they could have access to basic service and education and go about their daily lives.
Reports indicate that the Iran-backed Houthi militia has laid over a million mines and explosive devices in large swaths of Yemen where thousands of unsuspecting civilians have been killed, maimed, or wounded due to these deadly mines.