Yemen in violation of the Landmine ban Treaty

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Yemen has admitted being in violation of the international Mine Ban Treaty which prohibits the use ,stockpiling, production and transfer of landmines.

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) says forces loyal to the government of Yemen laid thousands of antipersonnel mines in 2011 in at least two locations and which resulted in at least 15 civilian casualties.

The organization says this is the first confirmed use of landmines by a country which is signatory to the Mine Ban Treaty.

In its annual Landmine Monitor report, ICBL says Yemen is obliged to investigate the use of antipersonnel mines and hold those responsible for violations accountable as well as taking immediate action to clear the mines and prevent further casualties.

The report also points to a growing use of landmines by non-state actors including rebel groups in Afghanistan, Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia and Yemen.

Mark Hiznay is the editor of the Landmine Monitor Report.

"Yemen in 2002 announced the destruction of its stockpiles and then destroyed an additional amount that were discovered in 2007. So theoretically, Yemen since 1999 should not be using anti-personnel mines and they shouldn't have any. We are hoping to receive some clarification on this situation from the government next week and we are also looking for a strong response from State Parties. In 2011 there were 19 recorded casualties due to mines and explosive remnants of war. This year there are 263 recorded casualties in Yemen. So there is a big spike, that really does need the attention of the State Parties."

The report says the number of Landmine casualties globally has declined significantly with an average of 10 casualties per day in 2012 compared to 25 casualties per day in 1999.

It says the decline was indicative of the success the 1997 Mine ban treaty has had in fulfilling its promise to end harm caused by landmines and other explosive remnants of war.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.

Duration 2:27″

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