June 13, 2019
LANDMINE CRISIS IN YEMEN BRINGS LEADING FIGURES TO CAPITOL HILL IN A GLOBAL CALL FOR ACTION
(Group will also be joined by landmine Canine Ambassador “Yankee”)
With the war in Yemen now in its fourth year, and over 1000 civilians killed by landmines in the country, the Embassy of the Republic of Yemen, in partnership with Nobel Laureate Jerry White: landmine survivor and chair of the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery Ken Rutherford; Elana De Lozier of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; and Perry Baltimore of the Marshall Legacy Institute, announced it will hold a briefing on Capitol Hill on Thursday, June 13th to focus on the global landmine crisis.
Spurred on by the devastating impact of landmine use during the ongoing war in Yemen (believed to be at a concentration as high as any other country since World War II), Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr Ahmed Bin Mubarak said, “The time is now for responsible leaders from around the world to come together and say ‘enough is enough’ in regards to the construction and planting of landmines. Innocent civilians have suffered enough. This briefing is meant to serve as a call to action – a plea to the international community, asking that we put aside our differences in support of the greater good”
Since the crisis in Yemen began, the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor says there have been over 9,000 casualties in the country. Casualties sustained from landmines often cause severe economic difficulties for victims and their families. A mine itself costs around $3 to $30, while medical care to those injured in developing nations costs around $3,000.
In making the announcement about the briefing Nobel Laureate and landmine survivor Jerry White said, “I am horrified by the war which must stop and the proxy fighting and mines, devastation and famine.” James Madison University’s Ken Rutherford, also a landmine survivor, will brief about the impact of landmine use around the world as well as his work in Yemen on this issue.
Also making a Capitol Hill appearance is landmine Canine Ambassador “Yankee,” of The Marshall Legacy Institute, who will be joined by their President Perry Baltimore. Their organization donates highly trained landmine detection dogs to mine-affected countries and trains local handlers to safely use these dogs to find landmines. They work in 16 countries around the world, including Yemen.
The United Nations states around 2,000 individuals per month are killed or injured by landmines around the world. Since 1993, the United States has contributed more than $3.4 billion to more than 100 countries around the world to reduce the harmful worldwide effects of at-risk, illicitly proliferated, and indiscriminately used conventional weapons of war, and has invested more $37.5 million in conventional weapons destruction (CWD) activities in Yemen since then.
In making the announcement about the upcoming Capitol Hill briefing, Yemen’s Ambassador to the United States Dr Ahmed Bin Mubarak said, “What is happening in Yemen is nothing short of a humanitarian disaster – yet, stunningly enough, it has remained absent from national and international headlines. From Yemen and Somalia to Iraq and Angola, too many lives have been lost to landmines – these mines kill indiscriminately, instigating terror today and fear in the future. Long after any conflict ends, landmines ensure proper healing never takes place, and true peace is never attained. They are flagrant reminders of the pains of the past and reopen the wounds of war and conflict for generations to come.