Statement from His Excellency Mr. Ousama bin Yousef Algosaibi, The Managing Director of Project Masam, a humanitarian landmine clearance project in Yemen, On the occasion of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action

At the end of 2005 when the UN General Assembly declared April 4th of each year as the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, the “Western” world was optimistic that the danger posed by one of the most dangerous and deadly weapons invented by man in modern times would finally end.
The UN resolution represented an explicit recognition of the danger posed by this weapon and the need for concerted international efforts to raise awareness of its danger and activate all international treaties and protocols emanating from them to eliminate the danger of landmines and remnants of war which continues to threaten entire communities and countries – many more than one can imagine.
Deplorably, over the past nineteen years since the adoption of the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action, mine-laying operations have not ceased, and the killing and injuring of children, women, the elderly, and men have not stopped, bearing witness to the absence of real international will to ward off this deadly threat.
The civilized world, which has entered the third millennium, continues to pay the price for the weakness of the implementation mechanisms of the international resolutions and laws that humanity has accepted to guarantee human rights, foremost of which is the right to life.
We say this as we look at the victims of landmines in Yemen and in many other countries, and the damage they have incurred on various aspects of life, causing disruption of life, stopping production, and polluting the environment, among many other tragedies that are too difficult and numerous to count.
In Yemen, where Project Masam, which was launched and fully funded by Saudi Arabia, is operating, we have been witnessing an increase in the indiscriminate planting of mines by the Houthi militias, giving no heed to any humanitarian principle or international law, as if they are in a race against time to turn Yemen into a completely mined land.
In the face of this brutality and incompliance, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through Project Masam, stands in support of Yemenis to alleviate the suffering inflicted upon them by landmines that are laid everywhere in their country.
This fact does not require much effort to prove, as the scenes of funerals, the hospitals and health centers receiving the injured, and the artificial limbs worn by children, women, and the elderly have become a daily occurrence in Yemeni cities, towns and villages.
When Project Masam responded to the call of humanity, it took it upon itself to clear the Yemeni lands of all types of landmines, IEDs, and unexploded ordnance and from the first day of its mission which started in mid-2018, the civilians in Yemen began to reap the fruits as normal life returned in the areas that the project teams managed to demine.
The project is continuing its mission – thanks to the real will of the project away from political calculations, selectivity, and double standards that frame the work of many programmes supported by international bodies.
As figures reflect reality, Project Masam has made life-changing achievements on the ground, which several programmes and projects have failed to achieve.
Some of these programs stopped in response to political stances that did not take into account that the demining task in a country witnessing an armed conflict is one of the noblest and most important acts to alleviate human suffering.
Since the first day of its mission, the Project Masam has contributed to ridding Yemenis of the threat of (436,376) explosive devices including anti-personnel mines, anti-tank mines, unexploded ordnance, and IEDs. Still, all the project’s workers have the will and determination to continue working and doubling these numbers, until reaching a mine-free Yemen.
On this occasion, we’d like to extend our sincere thanks and gratitude to the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and His Highness the Crown Prince, may God protect them, for the support, assistance, projects, and programmes they offer to Yemen to alleviate the suffering of its civilians.
We also extend our thanks and appreciation to His Excellency Dr. Rashad al-Alimi, Chairman of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council, and the Yemeni government, headed by Dr. Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, for the support and assistance they provide to Project Masam.
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