Yemen

STATEMENT: The deadly legacy of Yemen’s forgotten conflict

As the conflict in Yemen enters its 8th year, the Danish Refugee Council’s Secretary General says that even if the violence ends now, the prevalence of landmines and unexploded ordnances leaves behind a deadly legacy for civilians in Yemen.

“While violence in Yemen is increasing as the world looks away, civilians in Yemen are already facing a new threat that looks set to put their lives in danger for years to come.

Children are forced to walk through minefields to get to school. Communities are cut off from water as landmines are placed near wells. Farmers are unable to feed their families or earn a living while their fields are littered with unexploded ordnance.

Indeed, one displaced family DRC teams met recently returned to find the land around their home littered with landmines. Their only access to water is from a well located in the middle of the minefield. Every day they must choose between risking death by a landmine or to die of thirst.

That is a choice no one should have to make.

In 2019, our teams mapped out 105 square kilometres of contaminated land - that’s 140 football pitches. That is just the assessment of one organisation, and the situation will have worsened since then. This deadly legacy will cost lives for years to come unless action is taken now.

People in Yemen most of all need an inclusive peace to end this conflict. They need the international community to hold those to account who have violated international laws. Meanwhile, they also need help in clearing their land of these mines, or else instead of rebuilding their lives, people will face many more years of serious injury and death going about everyday activities.”

- Charlotte Slente, Secretary General, Danish Refugee Council

Info

You can find a collection of stories about the impact of mine and ordnance contamination HERE

DRC has spokespeople in Yemen available for interview. For more information, contact Cherry Franklin, Humanitarian Policy Advisor, DRC Yemen, [email protected]