Yemen schoolchildren killed by unexploded ordnance: UN

The vast number of landmines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni people. (File/AFP)
Updated 05 April 2019
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Yemen schoolchildren killed by unexploded ordnance: UN

  • Children often fall victim to unexploded ordnance, failing to fully appreciate the dangers
  • The vast number of landmines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni people

DUBAI: Two children were killed and eight critically wounded when an unexploded bomb went off at a school in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital, the UN children's agency said on Friday.
A child had found the bomb and brought it to Al-Fatah school in the Hamdan district of Sanaa on Wednesday to show friends, UNICEF said in a statement.
The casualties were aged between 12 and 14.
Children often fall victim to unexploded ordnance, failing to fully appreciate the dangers.
"It is highly likely, as we've seen in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere, that children will continue to be killed even when there's a lull in violence or the violence comes to an end," said UNICEF's regional chief of communications, Juliette Touma.

The Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) in Yemen extracted 14 anti-personnel mines, 625 anti-vehicle mines, 67 explosive devices and 665 unexploded ordnance — totaling 1,371 mines — during three weeks of February.
A total of 44,743 mines have been extracted since the beginning of the project. An estimated 1 million mines have been planted by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias in Yemen over the past three years claiming hundreds of civilian lives.
MASAM aims to dismantle mines in Yemen to protect civilians and ensure that urgent humanitarian supplies are delivered safely. Houthis are developing anti-vehicle mines and turning them into antipersonnel explosives to intimidate and terrorize civilians.
The vast number of landmines continues to pose a threat to the lives of Yemeni people.


Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

Updated 21 min 27 sec ago

Migrant killed during Libya disembarkation: UN

  • ‘This was tragedy waiting to happen’: International Organization for Migrationspokesman Leonard Doyle
  • IOM demands ‘immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants’

GENEVA: A Sudanese man was shot and killed Thursday as he and other migrants returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard tried to resist being sent back to detention, the UN said.
The International Organization for Migration strongly condemned the incident and demanded that Libyan authorities investigate and bring those responsible to justice.
“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” IOM spokesman Leonard Doyle said in a statement.
“The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff,” he added.
The UN agency said its staff had been on site at the Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli when as many as 103 migrants returned to shore resisted being sent back to Libyan detention centers.
When several migrants tried to run away from the guards, “armed men began shooting into the air,” and one migrant was hit by a bullet in the stomach, according to the IOM staff accounts.
“Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic, he died two hours after admission,” the agency said.
The man’s death, it said, stood as “a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe.”
The UN and aid groups have warned that rescued migrants returned to Libya face rampant human rights abuses in both official and illegal centers in the war-ravaged country.
According to the UN, some 5,000 migrant women, children and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya — more than 3,000 of them in areas of active conflict.
In June, an airstrike on the Tajoura detention center killed 53 migrants, including six children.
“That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants,” IOM said.
“Alternatives to detention must be found,” it said, stressing that the “increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centers are truly alarming.”
IOM demanded “immediate action ... to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.”