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Yemen calls for int’l support to tackle landmine crisis

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Aden: The Yemeni government on Tuesday requested immediate international assistance to tackle the country’s grave landmine crisis that poses a major hurdle to restoring stability.

On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the Yemeni government warned of the grave threat posed by landmines and unexploded ordnances as the conflict in the war-ravaged Arab country enters its ninth year.

Speaking at an event in the southern port city of Aden, Amin Aqili, head of Yemen’s National Mine Action Program, highlighted the seriousness of the challenge facing Yemen, while calling for more international support.

More than 50 casualties have already been reported this year from mine accidents in the country’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, said Michael Beary, head of the United Nations Mission to Support the Hodeidah Agreement (UNMHA).

Beary emphasized the urgency of finding a way to stop this ongoing threat, stating that it is saddening to think that future generations, including children yet to be born, will also suffer from this curse.

The UN official urged the Yemeni parties involved to take immediate action and work together to remove the threat, stressing that UNMHA is ready to provide all necessary support, technical advice, and coordination to help alleviate the problem.

Previous reports by humanitarian organizations said Yemen has become one of the largest landmine fields in the world since World War II.

Yemeni demining experts said that more than 1 million landmines have been laid since the outbreak of the civil war in late 2014 when the Houthi militia took control of several northern provinces and forced the Yemeni government out of the capital Sanaa.

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