National Demining Training Center of Yemen Holds a Graduation Ceremony in Aden [Archives:1999/25/Local News]

June 21 1999

A ceremony was held in Aden on Monday, June 14 to celebrate the graduation of 160 deminers from the Yemeni National Demining Training Center (YNDTC). This is the third class of miners to graduate. The ceremony was attended by Mr. Mutahar Al-Saidy, Minster of State for Cabinet Affairs, the Governor of Aden, Mr. Taha Ahmad Ghanim, Vice Admiral Charles W. Moore, Commander of the U.S. Naval Forces of the Central Command and Commander of the Fifth Fleet, the American Ambassador, Ms. Barbara Bodine and Major General Mohammed Ali Mohsen, Commander of the Southern Region and Colonel Mohammed Saleh Al-Tureq, the Head of Security in Aden. The program of demining in Yemen is being implemented with the American trainers.
In the beginning Mr. Mutahar Al-Saidy expressed his satisfaction with the excellent results the trainees had achieved, and said: “The fruitful results achieved are attributed to the efforts of the American trainers.” He also said that the program is a reflection of taking the proper way towards development.
Ms. Bodine also expressed her happiness and said: “We gathered here nine months ago to celebrate the inauguration of the YNDTC, and today we are celebrating the achievements of the two teams. I have been following your progress during the past few months, and our military advisers kept me informed about your excellent performance and that some of you have already started the process of diffusing the explosives, which is the toughest job in demining. This should be done in cooperation with the integrated program to assist the people, who need to be educated about the hazards of mines. Coinciding with your daily training were other related activities in Sanaa.”
The US Ambassador also indicated that the National Technical Unit is ready to begin work, and that the United Nations provided the help of Mr. Phil Louis, who has substantial experience in this field, to assist those people in the National Human Committee for Demining. Other countries that supported this program include The Federal Republic of Germany and Japan.
“The United Nations is trying to establish a monetary fund for Yemen, through which the donor countries can present their help. On this occasion I am very delighted to announce that the Congress in the United States agreed to donate US$ 500,000 for the Demining Program of Yemen. In the coming weeks, we will discuss with the Yemeni authorities and the United Nations how to use this money in the best possible way for the benefit of the Yemeni people.” Ms. Bodine added.
Vice Admiral Moore also said: “I feel happy to be here with you today at your training center and I am proud to participate in your graduation ceremony. You have worked hard and have finally arrived to the end. Over the past five months, you have achieved very positive results and are now in a position to carry out your job of defusing the dangerous land mines.”
“The American team is now preparing for their departure from the country, which will be within the coming two weeks. I feel confident, particularly because I have seen, in my previous visit, that you could handle the job of demining all by yourselves. Mines have partially been removed from the (C6) field, and more than 1700 explosives were safely defused near the town of Bir Ahmed. You will have to proceed with this job and collect the statistical information about the number of mines and victims of mines, in addition to educating people who are near these sites about the hazards of mines. We are eager to see the activities of the program increasing and the diffusion of mines taking place all over Yemen. That is why we hope you don’t consider this to be the end because the trainers are leaving. On the contrary, it’s a sign of new beginning. The friendship that we developed and the long obligation for the success of the program is evidence that we will always be close to each other.” After that, Vice Admiral Moore gave a Toyota Land Cruiser to the trainees. This car is one of the 17 cars that were purchased for the program. By the end of the ceremony, certificates of graduation were presented to all of the graduating trainees.
Radwan Al-Saqqaf
Aden Bureau Chief, Yemen Times