Human Rights Watch has criticised the Houthi’s use of landmines saying they’ve resulted in the deaths of many civilians.
In a report published yesterday, the group’s Arms Director Steve Goose urged: “Yemen’s warring parties should immediately stop laying mines, destroy mines in their possession and ensure that demining teams can work unimpeded so that families can safely return home.”
As part of the report, HRW interviewed 14 Taiz residents, victims of landmine attacks and their relatives, along with Taiz-based medical professionals. They also spoke with landmine clearance officials and anti-landmine activists. So far, according to a local report, between May 2015 and April 2016, 39 people were killed as a result of landmines. Last month, 11 civilians, including seven children were killed as a result of landmines planted. Two of the children were four years old.
Medics in Taiz told HRW that landmines have been planted by Houthis and forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh have caused dozens of civilian casualties since March.
Houthi and pro Saleh militias have also besieged the city, stopping access to water, food and medical supplies. Civilians who wish to smuggle basic humanitarian supplies to Taiz are forced to go cross dangerous mountainous routes.