Since early April, a tenuous truce has brought a pause to the fighting between Houthi rebels and pro-government forces in Yemen. However, truce or not, hundreds of civilians have been killed during this period by landmines placed by the rebels. One NGO, Project Masam, has been working frantically to remove landmines and prevent more tragedies.
Since 2014, Yemen has been torn apart by a conflict between the Houthis, rebels supported by Iran, and pro-government forces, who have the backing of a military coalition led by neighbouring Saudi Arabia.
The Houthis have been planting landmines widely across the country since 2017 – in fields, villages and along roads – especially in the coastal regions of Hodeida and Taiz. For the rebels, landmines are an efficient way to stop the advance of pro-government troops. This was certainly the case in 2018 when fighting intensified in Taiz and Hodeida.
Between 2019 and August 2022, an estimated 426 civilians were killed by landmines, improvised explosive devices and unexploded munitions, including 101 children and 22 women, according to the Yemeni Landmine Observatory. The Observatory has also documented 568 people who were wounded by these devices, including 216 children and 48 women.
This NGO documents the names of landmine victims. They often share images of demining operations on their Twitter account.
'Locally made mines are among the most dangerous, because they will explode under the slightest pressure'
We have 32 teams of deminers who were trained by international experts. We work daily from 6am to noon.