The widespread use of anti-personnel mines by Houthi forces in the coastal region of western Yemen since mid-2017 has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and prevented humanitarian organizations from rescuing vulnerable communities. However, Yemeni law and the Mine Ban Treaty of 1997 prohibits the use of anti-personnel mines.
Anti-vehicle mines have also been used in violation of the laws of war, and endanger civilians even in cases where hostilities have ended.
Landmines planted in farmland, villages, wells, and roads have killed at least 140 civilians, including 19 children, in the Hodeida and Taiz governorates since 2018, according to the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project. Landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have prevented humanitarian organizations from reaching populations in need rendered farms and well inaccessible, and endangered the lives of civilians who tried to go home.
“The Houthi mines have not only killed and maimed many civilians, but they have also prevented Yemenis in extremely vulnerable conditions from harvesting or drinking water for their survival,” said Priyanka Motaparthy,
Acting Director of Human Rights Watch’s Emergencies Division. “These mines have also prevented humanitarian organizations from providing food and health care to Yemeni civilians who suffer from malnutrition or disease. “
The use of anti-personnel mines by the Houthis, which deprives the population of water and food sources, contributes to the humanitarian crisis that is affecting the entire war-torn country.
On 9 April 2019, Yemen’s humanitarian coordinator Lise Grande said the country is facing “the worst food insecurity crisis in the world” and “one of the worst epidemics of cholera in the world. modern history. The various areas
affected by the mines are already in a situation of crisis or food emergency, are multiplying in the governorates of Hodeida and Taizz.
Authorities in Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled capital, told the press in April 2017 that they believed 1997 anti-personnel mine-ban treaty, ratified by Yemen in 1998, is binding. Those responsible for the use of prohibited weapons, or indiscriminate attacks, may be prosecuted for war crimes.
The Security Council should impose targeted sanctions on all individuals responsible for such violations Mine clearance organizations should share information through a coordinated response that complies with International Mine Action Standards (IMAS)