Mine Ban Policy
The Republic of Yemen signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997 and ratified it on 1 September 1998. The treaty entered into force for the country on 1 March 1999.
Yemen enacted legislation to enforce implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty on 20 April 2005. It last referred to Presidential Law No. 25 in its 2007 transparency report for the Mine Ban Treaty.
Yemen submitted an annual Article 7 transparency report in 2021. It previously submitted reports in 2020, 2019, 2017, and prior to 2014. Yemen has participated in all of the Mine Ban Treaty’s review conferences, including the Fourth Review Conference in Oslo in November 2019. Yemen has also attended every meeting of States Parties, including the Eighteenth Meeting of States Parties, held virtually in November 2020. At the intersessional meetings in June 2021, it assured that the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) remained commitment to mine clearance despite humanitarian challenges. Yemen requested an extension for completing the destruction of antipersonnel mines under Article 5, citing the difficult circumstances faced by the country.
In November 2020, Yemen told States Parties that ongoing conflict, which began in March 2015 when a Saudi Arabia-led coalition began a military intervention against Houthi forces, continues to restrict access to mined areas. According to a Group of Eminent Experts report in 2019, “[t]he Houthis’ widespread use of landmines along Yemen’s western coast since mid-2017 has killed and injured hundreds of civilians and prevented aid groups from reaching vulnerable communities.”
Yemen is not party to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. It is also not party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW).
Production, transfer, stockpile destruction, and retention
Yemen has stated that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.
Yemen has destroyed approximately 108,000 antipersonnel mines from its stocks. In April 2002, it reported having destroyed 74,000–78,000 stockpiled antipersonnel mines. An additional 30,000 mines found in November 2006 were then destroyed in December 2007. Yemen reported in April 2017 that “there are no stockpiled anti-personnel mines found after the last 30,000 mines found and destroyed in 2006.”
In 2017, Yemen reported the retention of 3,760 antipersonnel mines of four types, for training and research. It has declared the same number as retained since 2008. Yemen submitted an Article 7 report for calendar year 2018 but did not provide an update on mines retained. Yemen reported in its Article 7 report for calendar year 2019 that “at any given time there are a number of AP mines (and AP mines of an improvided nature) [sic] held at YEMAC storage locations whilst awaiting destruction…caused by the lack of access to explosives or other means to destroy items in place…The numbers and types vary and are kept only for so long as it takes to organise their destruction.” Yemen has never reported on the intended purposes and actual uses of its retained mines, as was agreed by States Parties in 2004.
At least five types of antipersonnel mines produced in the 1980s have been used in Yemen since 2013. None were among the four types of antipersonnel mines that Yemen has reported stockpiling in the past (PP-Mi-SR, PMD-6, PMN, and POMZ-2), including for training mine clearance personnel.
Types of antipersonnel mines used in Yemen since 2013
APMs used since 2013
GLD-150A (Claymore-type, produced by China)
Gyata-64 (formerly produced by Hungary)
PMN-1 and PMN-2
PPM-2 (produced by the former East Germany)
PSM-1 (formerly produced by Bulgaria)
Hybrid PMN & PPM-2 (origin unknown)
Note: APM=antipersonnel mine.
Evidence of further use of antipersonnel mines in 2016 suggests either that the 2002 declaration to the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General on completion of stockpile destruction was incorrect, or that these mines were acquired after 2002. In a September 2016 letter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Sanaa, controlled by the Houthis and the General People’s Congress (GPC), alleged that individuals had smuggled weapons, including mines, into Yemen in recent years, noting that the government had not been able to control its land or sea borders due to instability and fighting. In April 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that the Sanaa-based Ministry of Defense stockpiles antipersonnel mines.
Production of landmines by Houthi forces
In September 2018, Conflict Armament Research (CAR) reported that Houthi forces were “mass producing” landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and associated triggering devices for victim-activation. This production includes the standardization and production of explosive charges, pressure-plates, and passive infrared sensors. Based on a series of CAR field missions in 2017–2018, the report confirmed the use of PMN, PPM-2, and GLD-150A antipersonnel mines; TM-57, PRB-M3, and VS-1.6 antivehicle mines; and improvised mine types including directional fragmentation charges. According to CAR, several types of improvised mines appear to be mass-produced by Houthi forces, and were used in Aden, Mokah, and other areas on the west coast.
The Monitor was unable to confirm any allegations of new use of antipersonnel mines during the reporting period (October 2020–October 2021). Previously, antipersonnel mines, antivehicle mines, victim-activated improvised mines, and other IEDs were used by Houthi-associated forces in Yemen in early 2019, primarily in battles on the west coast near the port of Hodeida. According to unconfirmed figures reported by YEMAC, the Yemeni Army removed over 300,000 Houthi-laid landmines between 2016 and 2018.
The Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen, convened by the Human Rights Council, reported in September 2019 that “[T]he use of landmines, both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle, by the Houthis has resulted in significant harm to civilians.” The report stated that the Group of Eminent Experts had “investigated reports of civilian casualties caused by antipersonnel and anti-vehicle landmines allegedly emplaced by Houthi fighters in Aden, Al Hudaydah, Lahij and Ta’izz governorates, and examined further reports of civilian casualties from landmines in Abyan, al-Dhale’e, Al-Bayda, Al-Jawf, Hajjah, Ibb, Ma’rib, Sana’a, Sa’dah and Shabwah governorates. It confirmed civilian casualties from anti-personnel landmines verified as having been emplaced by Houthi fighters in incidents it investigated in Aden, Al-Hudaydah, Lahij and Ta’izz governorates.”
In April 2019, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that landmines emplaced by Houthi forces had killed at least 140 civilians since 2018. However, HRW was unable to confirm when the mines were placed. In November 2018, employees at Hodeidah Port accused Houthi forces of placing landmines in the area around the port’s entrances.
Previously, journalists accompanying United Arab Emirates (UAE)-funded mine clearance teams in Yemen in 2018 documented hundreds of Houthi-laid mines and explosive devices, prior to the weapons being destroyed.
There is no evidence to suggest that members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition have used landmines in Yemen.
On 2 April 2017, Yemen’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is controlled by the Houthis and the GPC, denied that Houthi-Saleh forces had used antipersonnel mines, stating that the Sanaa-based authorities were “vigilant in abiding by [their] commitments” under the Mine Ban Treaty. They also accused “armed factions and terrorist groups” of producing and using improvised landmines in Yemen. The ministry added that after the conflict ends, the Sanaa-based authorities are prepared to establish a committee to investigate landmine use in Taizz; to investigate any new information or documentation on the use of antipersonnel mines elsewhere; and to “take the necessary steps in accordance with national laws and regulations and its international obligations.”
The first confirmed use of antipersonnel mines by a State Party to the Mine Ban Treaty occurred in Yemen in 2011–2012 at Bani Jarmooz, north of Sanaa, during the uprising that led to the ousting of then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh. According to witness testimony and other evidence, GYATA-64, PMN-1, and PMD-6 antipersonnel landmines were emplaced around camps of the government’s Republican Guard at Bani Jarmooz in late 2011.
In November 2013, the office of Yemen’s prime minister admitted that a “violation” of the Mine Ban Treaty occurred in 2011. Yemen provided States Parties with an interim report on 29 March 2014, detailing plans to clear the mines laid at Bani Jarmooz. In June 2014, it informed States Parties that the Military Prosecutor’s Office had begun an investigation to identify those responsible for the mine use at Bani Jarmooz. In mid-2014, Houthi forces seized control of Bani Jarmooz.
The Mine Ban Treaty’s Committee on Cooperative Compliance has engaged with Yemen on the 2011–2012 use at Bani Jarmooz. In October 2016, the committee expressed appreciation for “the willingness of Yemen to engage in a continued dialogue, share information and clarify the situation with regard to the mentioned allegations.” The committee concluded that “it would welcome updated information on efforts by the government of Yemen to carry out an investigation of the use of mines and any additional information on the use of mines within areas under its jurisdiction or control.”
 Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 March 2007, Form A. On 16 December 2004, the Yemeni Parliament endorsed national implementation legislation; on 20 April 2005, Presidential Law No. 25 was issued to bring that legislation into force. Yemen has listed its ratification legislation, stating that “The Parliament of Yemen issued, and the President signed law on 8\98 in June 1998. The law states that the Government of Yemen will enforce the ban from the day the law was issued.” Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 31 March 2012 to 31 March 2013), Form A. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 Yemen’s 2017 Article 7 transparency report states that during 2016, “no legal, and other measures were taken as additional measures to the [ratification] law issued by the Parliament of Yemen and signed by the president in 1998.” Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, April 2017, Form A. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 The report covers the period from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2020.
 Statement of Yemen, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 22–24 June 2021.
 Statement of Yemen, Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings, held virtually, 30 June 2020.
 Mwatana for Human Rights and Global Rights Compliance, “Starvation Makers: The Use of Starvation by Warring Parties in Yemen,” September 2021.
 In its Article 7 reports submitted in 2001 and 2002, Yemen reported a stockpile of 78,000 mines, including 4,000 to be retained for training. Its reporting on the destruction of the mines has contained discrepancies, but appeared to total about 74,000. Yet its Article 7 reports have usually cited the figure of 78,000 destroyed. See, ICBL, Landmine Monitor Report 2002: Toward a Mine-Free World (New York: Human Rights Watch, August 2002), p. 522; and subsequent annual editions of Landmine Monitor reports.
 On 16 December 2007, Yemen destroyed an additional 30,000 POMZ-2 antipersonnel mines that were found in November 2006 in an old military warehouse undergoing transformation into a tourist site. Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 31 March 2008, Form G; and Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, 30 March 2007, Form B. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report, April 2017, Form B. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 Yemen declared the following mines: 940 PPMISR-2, 940 PMD-6, 940 POMZ-2, and 940 PMN. Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017), Form C. Yemen declared the same total (3,760) of retained mines in its Article 7 reports provided in 2008–2010 and 2012–2014. Yemen’s 2011 Article 7 report declared a total of 4,000 antipersonnel mines retained for training and research purposes, including 240 additional mines (60 more of each type): 1,000 PPMISR-2, 1,000 PMD-6, 1,000 POMZ-2, and 1,000 PMN. Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 30 March 2010 to 30 March 2011), Form D. Yemen has not provided any explanation for the increased total in the 2011 report. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019), Form C. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 The retained mines were transferred from centralized military storage facilities in Sanaa and Aden to the Military Engineering Department Training Facility and Mine Detection Dogs Unit. Yemen Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Report (for the period 30 March 2011 to 30 March 2012), Form D. See, Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 Database.
 Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen, to Human Rights Watch (HRW), 7 September 2016.
 Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen, to HRW, 2 April 2017.
 Victim-activated IEDs fall under the definition of an antipersonnel landmine and are prohibited by the Mine Ban Treaty.
 The GLD-150A is a Claymore-type directional fragmentation charge, produced by China.
 CAR, “Mines and IEDs Employed by Houthi Forces on Yemen’s West Coast,” September 2018.
 Ibid., p. 4.
 UN, “Situation of human rights in Yemen, including violations and abuses since September 2014: Report of the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts as submitted to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,” A/HRC/42/17, 9 August 2019, para. 45.
 HRW, “Yemen: Houthi Landmines Kill Civilians, Block Aid,” 22 April 2019.
 “Houthis mine Hodeidah port entrances as pro-government offensive pauses,” Middle East Eye, 14 November 2018.
 See, for example, Weapons, Lost (LostWeapons), “another couple weeks, another thousand mines cleared in Yemen. TM62 antitank mines, press plates, cylinder IEDs.” 12 October 2018, 08:16 UTC. Tweet; and Browne, Gareth (BrowneGareth), “UAE soldiers prepare a cache of Houthi landmines and IEDs for a controlled explosion near Mokha today #Yemen #hodeidah #Aden #IEDS.” 17 July 2018, 20:02 UTC. Tweet.
 Letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Yemen, to HRW, 2 April 2017.
 Joe Sheffer, “Revenge Landmines of the Arab Spring,” Foreign Policy, 24 May 2013; Yemen Rights Foundation, “A report issued by the Yemen Rights Foundation about landmines that were previously used by members of the Republican Guard stationed in the military bases al-Sama and al-Fareeja in the valleys and mountains of Bani Jarmooz, Sanaa province, in 2011,” 10 April 2013; HRW, “Yemen: Investigate, Respond to Landmine Use Reports,” 27 May 2013; and HRW, “Memorandum to Mine Ban Treaty Delegates: Yemen’s Compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty: The Case of Bani Jarmooz,” 8 April 2014.
 Ibid. In April 2014, HRW reported that the landmines laid at Bani Jarmooz had killed at least two civilians and wounded 20 others since late 2011, including at least one killed and six wounded in the year since April 2013. The casualties all occurred within the vicinity of military camps that the 63rd and 81st Brigades of the Republican Guard established at Bani Jarmooz around 26 July 2011, and which remained in place as of September 2014. During an April 2013 visit, HRW did not observe any fencing or warning signs.
 “The government pledges its commitment to implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty,” Saba News Service, 19 November 2013. See also, ICBL, “Yemen Mine Use Official Communiqué 17-11-2013,” 22 November 2013; and Statement of Yemen, Mine Ban Treaty Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties, Geneva, 5 December 2013.
 “Yemen Initial Report to the President of the Thirteenth Meeting of States Parties,” 29 March 2014.
 Interview with Yemen’s Delegation to the Mine Ban Treaty Third Review Conference, Maputo, 26 June 2014. Notes by HRW.
 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC), “Activity Report and Conclusions of the Committee on Cooperative Compliance,” 17 October 2016.