United Nations Security Council calls for urgent action to address landmines and explosive remnants of war in Yemen
The UN Security Council (UNSC) raised alarm over the continued death and injury of civilians by landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in Yemen during the latest security council session on Yemen held on Tuesday 22 November.
In their statements, UNSC members Norway, Brazil, Kenya, Ghana, Gabon, France, Albania, and Mexico all voiced their deep concern over the impact of landmines and unexploded ordnance, which is currently responsible for the largest number of civilian casualties in Yemen. Hudaydah remains one of the most affected governorates.
During the session, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)’s Director of Operations and Advocacy Division Ms Reena Ghelani warned that the decrease in fighting since the UN-brokered truce in April had allowed civilians to move more freely resulting in increased exposure to landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Ms Ghelani attributed more than 164 civilian injuries and deaths between July and September to landmines/ERW incidents. Over a third of these casualties, a total of 74, are children. UNMHA has recorded 82 reported civilian injuries and deaths (almost half, 38, being children) in Hudaydah alone during the same period. OCHA called on the parties to the conflict to take all possible precautions, including identifying, marking, and clearing dangerous areas, to protect the civilian population from military operations.
In the ensuing discussion, UNSC members underscored the importance of urgently addressing the tragic consequences of unexploded remnants and called on the parties to fully cooperate with de-mining efforts and to facilitate visas for specialized personnel. They further called on member states and donors to scale-up support to increase demining actions, including importing field-clearing equipment, mine-risk education, and victim support.