The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) on Monday launched the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM), a five-year program that aims to dismantle mines in Yemen.
According to Saudi Press Agency, Riyadh-based KSRelief launched the Saudi Project to Dismantle Mines in Yemen (Masam) in the presence of princes, ministers, senior officials, diplomatic corps members and representatives of international humanitarian organizations representatives.
At the outset of the event, the audience were briefed on the project through a documentary film.
Addressing the gathering, Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, adviser at the royal court and general supervisor of KSRelief, recalled that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has since its establishment provided a series of initiatives of charity and benevolence to sisterly and neighboring as well as friendly countries as per instructions of the Islamic religion.
“Our brothers in Yemen have in particular come as priority of those enjoying Saudi assistance, a confirmation of the tight neighborhood, cultural, social, family and religious relations between the two Saudi and Yemeni peoples,” he said.
‘Million mines’ planted by Houthis across Yemen
The legitimate Yemeni government accused the Houthi militias of planting more than one million mines across the country and said 2,000 people, mainly civilians, have been killed as a result, reported Al Arabiya.net.
“The National Mine Action Program has removed more than 228,000 mines, explosives and remnants of war since the beginning of 2018,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al Yamani said according to the official Yemeni news agency.
Yamani said more than 1,194 people have been killed and 2,287 injured by these mines between March 2015 and March 2018, adding that most of them are civilians and that there are more than 216 children and 72 women among the victims.
He noted that the Houthis have innovated new methods to use anti-vehicle mines against individuals to cause more harm.
“The Houthis innovated (several) multi-purpose mines, such as radio-controlled improvised explosive devices, some of which have come directly from Iran,” Yamani said, adding that the Houthis’ approach of planting mines randomly and in such an unorganized way that’s not documented with any maps will pose a challenge to Yemen’s future.
Yamani called on the international community and international organizations, particularly the UN, to help the government get rid of the mines especially those planted in the international naval passages, south of the Red Sea.
Yemen’s Human Rights Minister Mohammed Askar said the number of mines planted by the Houthis until 2018 is more than 1 million.
Askar said the militias have used children to plant mines in areas they’re expelled from and have intentionally booby-trapped houses, hospitals and places of worship.
The number of Yemeni victims has been increasing due to the mines, which the Houthis continue to randomly plant amid their continuous defeats.