Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian project in Yemen clears 1,030 mines in one week
A Saudi Arabian led humanitarian project has dismantled 1,030 mines in Yemen in the second week of September, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Thursday.
The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) project’s latest push adds to over 357,788 mines cleared since its inception.
Of the cleared devices, there were 26 anti-personnel mines, 123 anti-tank mines, 880 unexploded ordnance and one explosive device, according to the SPA report.
These mines, widely believed to be placed by the Iran-backed Houthis in war-torn Yemen, are endangering civilian lives.
In June, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Liz Throssell said in a statement that “children are especially at risk.”
The toll recorded between April 2 and June 1 “underscores the threat these devices pose to civilians, often over long periods of time, causing death or serious injury,” said the UN spokesperson.
“Three children were reported to have been killed and another 12 injured in this manner,” she added at the time.
Saudi Arabia has taken significant efforts to clear mines, primarily through KSrelief’s Project Masam.
The Kingdom’s project has saved “hundreds of thousands of people” in Yemen by removing mines that were placed in residential areas, roads, schools, and farms, according to an older SPA report.
Yemen’s warring parties have been observing a ceasefire since April, bringing a drastic reduction in hostilities although small-scale fighting has continued.
The UN-mediated ceasefire started in April for 60 days and was renewed twice for the same period. The current truce is set to expire on October 2, and the Houthis have refused to support a six-month deal.
The Taiz blockade continues to be of concern since it impedes the flow of essential goods and aid delivery inside Yemen’s third largest city that has been under siege since 2015.
A provision in the truce agreement for the militants to ease their siege of Yemen’s third-biggest city Taiz has yet to be implemented, and the government has demanded roads to the city be opened.