Mines emplacement in Yemen is a shameful crime that debunks Houthi tampering
In the beginning, Mohammed Askar said: “The installation of mines is a crime against humanity. Consequently, anyone who has ordered or installed and participated in the process of mines installation will one day be in the hands of justice sooner or later. He added that the Houthi militias exert arduous efforts to blow up the current position in Yemen by launching expansionist wars, firing rockets and installing mines, making clear that the massive emplacement of mines has future dimensions that we call the future bombing. This bombing made by Houthis is based on two methods. The first method is that the recruitment of Yemeni children represents 70 – 80 % of the Houthi militias whether on the fronts of fighting, support, supplying or installing mines. Those children are trained on this dangerous profession, pointing out that the recruitment of children and the emplacement of mines leads to the bombing of the future. This child will not be a tool of construction in the future of Yemen, mentioning that this child that carried a weapon and installed mines will practice unusual behaviors when he grows up.
Mohammed Askar mentioned the second method that is mines. He said that removed more than (500) thousand mines. More mines emplacement coincides with the growing defeats of Houthis on the hands of Saudi Arabia- led Arab Alliance, adding that these mines will jeopardize hundreds of thousands of Yemeni residents to different accidents that may lead to amputation of limbs. Those victims will become a burden in the Yemeni society, stressing that the Houthi militias are mining the Yemeni future in this way. He mentioned that areas that were liberated three years ago were full of mines. We called upon the UN to bring maps of mines to us to facilitate our work, but the UN did not provide us with these maps, adding that the credit program has some maps. When we asked them from where they brought these maps and the credibility of these maps, we received no answer.
The Houthis pay USD 150 to children to install mines.
More than 814 disabilities
Mohammed Askar pointed out that there were some things that could have been documented by us and they must be accurate regarding this documentation because it does not represent the true number. They legally managed to document about 814 disabilities that were directly caused by Houthi militias. More than 374 Yemenis are currently suffering from limbs amputation and most of those Yemenis live in Taiz governorate that faced Houthis’ blockade for three years. He regrets that these criminal militias pay USD 150 to children to emplace mines that killed innocent Yemenis. This payment to children coincides with the non-payment to servants of the state for more than a year and a half because these militias looted the central bank and the revenues of the port of Hodeidah amounting to USD 5 billion together with two billion Yemeni Riyals and directed these amounts to the war effort.
Mohammed Askar said that a year ago, the UN envoy carried a humanitarian plan that would lead to a solution and alleviate the humanitarian disaster. This plan includes placing the port of Hodeidah under the control of the United Nations to collect all the public revenues and deposit them in the Central Bank and this will oblige the Houthi Militias to pay salaries of the state servants. Askar regrets that these militias do not recognize human rights of Yemenis and do not respect the will of the Yemeni people, thus they rejected the United Nations humanitarian plan. He added that the same story occurred at Sanaa airport, indicating that most countries stopped mines emplacement in their military conflicts in compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty, but the Houthis are still emplacing mines in a primitive way, where it explodes randomly. He confirmed that this primitive way in emplacing mines will result in severing relations with many areas and communities of Yemen, pointing out that the most prominent areas where the emplacement of mines are the cities of Aden, Abyan, Marib, Jouf, Baidah, Saada and Hodeidah, as well as areas located north of Sanaa.
Regarding the role of the Engineers' Corps in the ground forces, Staff Lieutenant Colonel Adel Abdullah Al-Rabie said that it is regrettable that we are fighting a war against militias that are not internationally politicized. They are militias that want to spread corruption and chaos in Yemen, thanks to the support of our government, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and the Crown Prince and with the participation of the Arab coalition in addition to brotherly Yemenis’ arduous and sincere effort, we will restore legitimacy and stability in Yemeni community. We confirm that we are continuing to eradicate the militias and restore legitimacy in Yemen, adding that the actions of the Houthi militias on the southern border is regrettable, making clear that the war of militias is based on the method of sabotage and destruction i.e. they do not leave anything intact behind them after the defeat, and Houthis military tactics are concentrated in emplacing explosives and mines. This greatly harms property and facilities along with human elements that are considered the cornerstone of building human societies. He pointed out that Houthi militias emplacing innovative and unconventional mines a matter which proves that they commit war crimes in the Yemeni community.
He mentioned that the Arab alliance faced mines and explosives that take many forms including water and soft drinks cans. In addition, they used utensils in emplacing mines. These are innovative and strange ways. They also found many houses in the border areas fully booby-trapped, as well as upper and lower water tanks.
The recruitment of children will turn them into abnormal individuals with unusual behavior in the future
Staff Lieutenant Colonel Adel Abdullah Al-Rabie explained that they were able to discover all Houthis’ tricks, believing that the Arab alliance will not discover their state-of-the-art devices. Our armed forces are in a constant development and keep pace with all military developments always continue to establish permanent and intensive training. All this must be proud by all Saudi people. Regarding the type of mines whether they were local or imported, he asserted that there were mines manufactured locally and imported, but there were mines since the era of late Yemeni president Ali Saleh. They also found old Russian mines and ones from different countries.
Dr. Abdullah al-Muallem made clear that he notified the head of Weapons Department at Human Rights Organization that Houthis kill civilians. The Houthis should stop using these destructive mines. In the same time, there is no evidence that the Arab alliance has emplaced one mine that everyone should know.
Raising public awareness
Dr. Abdullah Al-Muallem said: "It is our role to raise the public awareness in the liberated areas about the dangers of the buried mines, specifically buried superficially, leading to sudden injuries. We also need psychosocial and social support centers, job opportunities for this suffering group, and special places for the injured, such as roads and education and training centers and rehabilitating the injured for work.
Dr. Al-Muallem asserted that mines have indirect impact on health. When there is a mined area, people are prevented from moving in that area and so they depend on their sources of livelihood. They cannot move around to look for other livelihoods, especially when they need clean water. You may know that Yemen is one of the areas where the water is low, and people they may be forced to drink contaminated water which causes diarrhea and cholera. He added that the effects on health also lead health officials in those areas have to manage the budget they have to serve the disabled, and provide prostheses, psychological and social rehabilitation, training, education and integration in the community. These are financial costs and extra burdens on the Ministry of Health in the legitimate government which consequently neglects important matters such as vaccinations, care of pregnant women and public health, a matter which increases the number of mothers and children due to lack of health services and malnutrition.
Dr. Al-Muallem said: "King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre (KSRelief) has more than 419 projects in 40 countries around the world. We establish close cooperation with about 122 international organizations and the Yemen Relief Committee. We also have prostheses centers, and the largest center is in Ma'rib governorate. Through the International Red Cross (IRC), we have several centers supervised and funded by the IRC in Taiz and Aden, and the last project we have funded in cooperation with the IRC for ten million dollars." He noted: "KSRelief in Ma'rib treated about 308 injured people, and it has begun a second phase in the treatment of some of the injured, indicating that they treat the amputees in the southern boundary hospitals as well as in Jordan, Sudan, and provide them with prostheses."
We need to raise people's awareness and create psychosocial support centers for mine victims
There are differences
Jamal Al-Qahtani asked: "To what extent do the international organizations know about the behavior of the Houthis in using mines? What efforts are exerted in this regard? And what is the reaction of these international organizations, including the Human Rights Organization?"
Walid Al-Abarah answered: "It is well known that the international organizations have been studying the legal impact of mine emplacement, especially the IRC organizations, to monitor the violation of the international humanitarian law and the rules of war. Besides, there is a hidden aspect that has not received the attention, research, study or motives behind the behaviors of the Houthis." He added: "If we look at this war, we find that it is not systematic and honest because the Houthis are not a legal government, and that their use of these mines sometimes are driven by military motives, knowing that there are differences in the military balance between them and the coalition army which shows great excellence in its air force, and that the Houthis are fighting inside Yemen as a minority, so they resort to mobilization of children and excessive use of mines."
As for the Yemeni Ministry of Defense's reaction towards the mine emplacement crime by the Houthis, Brigadier General Hussein Al-Hayal said: "The terrorist project by the Houthis is launched by the support of the first sponsor of terrorism, the Republic of Iran. These mines are present in large numbers. What I would like to draw attention to is to come out of this symposium with a mechanism through which we ensure that entities which are in charge of laying mines are classified as terrorist groups and impose international sanctions on them because they have departed from the human values that call for peaceful coexistence among humankind. It's sad to say that we are facing a media inefficiency to cover such Houthi crimes except "Riyadh Daily" which exerts a great effort to expose the deeds of the Houthis." He pointed out that the Yemeni Ministry of Defense, through the National Mine Action Program, make excellent efforts as about 300.000 mines have been removed and thanks to the daily reports that reach the Program and they are handled on a rolling basis. He hopes that media focus would be dedicated to the Houthi crimes that are classified as war crimes, praising the great indescribable efforts exerted by KSRelief, a matter which gives rise to hope in Yemen. But, despite the Center's obvious efforts, we note media failure in spotlighting King Salman Center's efforts.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Muallem said: "The efforts of KSA Relief towards our brothers in Yemen, on the directives of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, focus on the humanitarian aspect in the Republic of Yemen. More than 85% of the Centre's efforts pour into the Yemeni inside. We have witnessed a tangible improvement on the Yemeni ground, especially after the Saudi government's $ 500 million donation, in addition to UAE government's contribution, a matter which has reflected positively on the humanitarian situation in the Republic of Yemen."
He regretted that the Houthis are still obstructing humanitarian efforts especially in the Houthi areas. He made clear that the Center saves no effort to reach the Yemeni areas whether through emergency relief or medical relief. He provided Taiz as the best example whereas the Kingdom, in cooperation with the coalition forces, searches for the Yemeni citizens during the siege to deliver food, medicine, water and medical oxygen on pack-animals and in difficult terrain areas. Meanwhile, the Houthis, supported by Iran, are working to lay all obstacles to prevent the humanitarian access to the Yemenis.
As for some advice that can be directed to the people located in the vicinity of these mines, and how they are directed to avoid injuries, Major Thmeiri Al-Thamiri said: "It's clear for everyone the danger of landmines, especially in the populated areas. We, in the Saudi Royal Land Forces Leadership, hold symposiums within the Saudi borders in order to raise awareness among citizens about the danger of these landmines, while the army conducts the awareness program inside Yemen.
Participants in Landmine Emplacement in Yemen Symposium
- Mohammad Askar
Minister of Human Rights in Yemen
- Dr. Abdullah Al-Moallem
KSRelief Director of Medical and Environmental Aid Department
- Brigadier General Hussein Al-Hayal
Director of the Ministry of Defense of Yemen
- Walid Al-Abarah
Director of the Studies and Research in Yemeni Human Rights Centre
- Lieutenant Colonel Ali Al-Metiry
- Lieutenant Colonel Abdullah Al-Moussa
- Staff Lieutenant Colonel Adel Abdullah Al-Rabie
Military Engineering at the Land Forces
- Major Thmeiri Abdul-Rahman Al-Thamiri
Military Engineering at the Land Forces