65,000 Mines Cleared, But [Archives:1997/43/Front Page]

October 27 1997

More Work Lies Ahead! Yemen Hosts Seminar on Mines
Since the guns fell silent on July 7th, 1994, following a bloody 2-month civil war, the government of Yemen has cleared 65,000 mines. The Ministry of Defence reports that it had cleared some “20,000 mines immediately following the war, and some 45,000 mines since April 1995”. But the same sources add that there are a lot of mines still left to be cleared. Indeed, the bombs that go off here and there claiming civilian casualties attest to that fact. The mines had been planted by the secessionist forces to block the march of the unionist forces which were advancing on Aden. Thus, they were planted in a crescent-shape line which starts a few kilometers west of Little Aden, runs north, then east around the city, stretches halfway towards Abyan, and down to the sea. There are also mine fields in the governorates of Hadhramaut and in the north and west of Lahej. The government of Yemen, supported by international organizations and donor countries, has embarked on an effort to remedy the situation. In addition to mine-clearing, a major mines awareness effort has been underway. Next week, on 3-4/11/1997, the government of Yemen in collaboration with Radda Barnen and various UN bodies, will hold a seminar on anti-personnel mines. Many governments in the region and international NGOs have been invited. Canada and Norway, whose governments pursue a vigorous anti-mine policy, are actively involved.