Sunday, May 6, 2012

More children dying from landmine explosions in Yemen

By Noora Faraj
Al Arabiya with Agencies
The United Nations Children’s Fund has recently reported that more children in Yemen are becoming victims of landmine explosions and other explosive devices in the country.
Children mistake the explosives for toys, not knowing the fatal purpose of the contraption.
UNICEF has connected the issue to the country’s uprising which began last year, leaving Yemen to experience a surge of violence. The organization reported 13 child deaths and 12 others who were severely injured in the first three months of 2012. In addition, 28 children were killed last year.
The majority of casualties were in the areas of Aden, Hajjah, and Saada.
Mansour M. Al-Azi, general director and program manager of the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center, also known as YEMAC, said that the plantation of mines has continued in recent years, and the minefields which have been identified, cover 923 square kilometers.
A survey by YEMAC shows the center has cleared the country of 280,000 landmines so far, but a large amount still remains in underground areas.
Ahmed Kharshi, chairman of SEYAJ Organization for Childhood Protection said that despite the mines being buried in sparsely populated areas, they are those areas that children go to, to play.
He said that mines no longer exist in military offensive areas, but can be found in school and residential areas. It was also reported that landmines were placed in dead bodies, exploding as the corpse was being transported for burial.
Yemen is contaminated with mines and unexploded ordnances from conflicts dating back to the early 1960s, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor. Most mines were placed along borders between the north and south of the country before its unification in 1990.

9 Yemeni soldiers wounded in al-Qaeda attack in Abyan

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 5, 2012- At least 9 Yemeni soldiers were wounded, on Saturday night, most of them in critical condition, in an attack by al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern province of Abyan.
A tribal figure reported that al-Qaeda militants fired three mortar shells on a base of the Yemeni army forces, east of Zinjabar city of Abyan province, wounding 9 soldiers.
Security and military officials said that Yemeni airstrikes killed five militants in the south. Residents in the scene mentioned that 4 Yemeni airstrikes hit al-Qaeda hideouts in Jabal Yesoof district, in the Yemeni city of Abay, killing five and wounding scores of them.
The residents said the airstrikes targeted a training camp for the militants in the district of jabal Yesoof in the southern province of Abyan destroying military equipments and vehicles.
Witnesses in Um Aen stated that they saw al-Qaeda militants fled the scene of the clashes carrying at least 8 bodies of their fighters.
Hundreds of soldiers and Ansar al-Sharea have been killed since last month in Lawder and Modiya towns in Abyan during ongoing battles between the Yemeni army and al-Qaeda militants.
More than 250 people have been killed since government forces intensified a crackdown on the militants who the authorities accused of attacking a military camp near Lawdar last month.
President Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi, who took office promising to fight al-Qaeda, is also facing challenges from Shi'ite Muslim rebels in the north and secessionists in the south.

Yemen's president Hadi calls to stop media incitement campaigns

By Fatik al-Rodaini
SANA'A, May 5, 2012- Yemen's President Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi called on Saturday the local media to stop the media incitement campaigns and to adopt the policy of the state and the government's policy.
In his a speech during the graduation ceremony of training courses in the Supreme Military Academy president Hadi urged the official of the local media to launch a policy based on the GCC proposal.
''The first step expected from the Gulf initiative' signatories is to stop the media incitement campaigns, and to launch media policy based on the consensus stipulated by the initiative to calm the crisis to begin the dialogue,'' president Hadi said.
Hadi stressed on the role of media to help to enroot the values of national unity and assist in detecting corruption if there is sufficient evidence.
President Hadi vowed to continue battles against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen's southern cities and return displaced people to their homes. "The battle has not started yet and will not end until cleansing all villages, then the displaced people can return homes,'' he said.
Hadi said his government would battle al-Qaeda and encourage "elements of the terror organization to give up their weapons and their ideas that are in contradiction to Islam".
The president also vowed to unify the Yemeni army, which was divided last year to pro-Saleh and anti Saleh units, saying that he will work to unify the divided army."I reiterate here that, by virtue of my authority and backed by the popular legitimacy of the constitution and laws, I will not allow the split in the armed forces to continue," Hadi stated.
President Abdu Raboo Mansour Hadi, who took office promising to fight al-Qaeda, is also facing challenges from Shi'ite Muslim rebels in the north and secessionists in the south.