22 November 2013
Official communiqué Government of the Republic of Yemen Sana’a, Sunday, 17 November 2013. The Government of the Republic of Yemen was among the first country to sign the Ottawa Mines Ban Treaty in 1998. Since then the Government of the Republic of Yemen, with support from international community, has been heavily involved in clearing land mines that were planted across Yemen during various civil conflicts within the country.
The needs for mines action has significantly increased in recent years with new geographic and technical challenges. As a result the area needing Mine Action is thirty four time greater in 2013 than it was in 2000 when the original survey was done, despite clearance of 85 percent of the original case load. Since June 2012 mine action has facilitated the return of more than 180,000 displaced persons to the governorate of Abyan after the AQAP were forced out.
The Arab Spring in 2011 had injected division between the politicians, as well as in the Yemeni military brigades. The adverse implication of this event resulted in many deaths on innocent peoples, a state of lawless and increased military activities in the capital city and in many other parts of Yemen. The signing of all political parties in Yemen of the peace initiative brokered by Gulf Cooperation Council member states on 23 November 2011 has resulted in significant movement towards normalization, reduced tension and is supporting a peaceful transfer of power. However, the security situation in the country is still volatile despite the ongoing effort by the National Dialogue Conference and the political situation is particularly sensitive at this time as the conference draws closer.
The Government of the National Coalition of the Republic of Yemen would like to:
- Reaffirm its full commitment towards all aspects of the implementation of “Ottawa Mines Ban Treaty (1997)”, to ensure the Yemeni population is safe from mines and other explosives devices, as well as providing mines risk education and support to the mines victims.
- Affirm its desire to renew its membership beyond 2014.
- Assure that the Government of Yemen has taken note and is addressing and taking corrective measures in relation to the violation of the Treaty including in “Wadi Bani Jarmouz”, during the most fragile period of the recent Yemeni ‘Arab Spring’ which caused a political and military crisis in 2011.
- Inform that the Government of Yemen is facilitating the Yemeni Mine Action Centers to immediately accelerate mines clearance, mine risk education and victim assistance in those 2011 polluted areas including “Wadi Bani Jarmouz”.
- Confirm that the Government of Yemen is supporting and encouraging the Official Committee, created on instruction of our office, with representatives from the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Mine Action Committee, to investigate the violation and take necessary action;
- Encourage the international community to continue providing assistance to the Republic of Yemen to support our efforts in mines clearance, mine risk education and victim assistance in view of the current economic hardship and needs of the population for safety from remnants of war.
Issued by the Office of the Prime Minster of the Republic of Yemen on Sunday, 17 November 2013