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Reference : V-F-CR-F-02517-N
Date : 03/04/2019
Country/Region : YEMEN
Title : Yemen : catastrophic toll of landmines and unexploded ordnances
Duration : 00:05:12
Director : AL-HOMAID, Fareed
Person appearing :
TRANT, Michael (expert, ICRC)
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Production company : ICRC
ICRC producer :
AL-HOMAID, Fareed
Editor : unknown
Description : Yemen’s conflict has taken a terrible toll. Some injuries can never truly be healed. Anmar Qassem is a young man, and strong. But a landmine took away both his legs, and one of his arms. “I stay at home, I cannot move,” he says. “I need four people to help me move. Even crawling is very hard for me, I lose my balance.”
The fighting continues, despite peace efforts. That means, says International Committe of the Red Cross (ICRC) demining expert Mike Trant, that the risk of mines and unexploded ordnance is almost impossible to reduce. In fact, the danger may be spreading.
“There is a huge issue with unexploded ordnances (UXOs) and landmines here,” he says. “The front lines are constantly shifting which means a large area of the country is contaminated and it causes a huge problem for rural areas and in urban areas because you have the airstrikes, shellings etc.”
It is a danger which affects everyone; young, old, men, women, boys, and girls. Mansour is just five, with all the energy and mischief of any five year old. But he lost his leg when he was just a baby, and the childhood he has a right to has been restricted. “Mansour is upset because he can’t play with the other children,” explains his mother Um Mansour. “He always asks why he has only one leg while his sister has two. He wants to go back to kindergarten but they refused to have him back.”
Children are especially vulnerable. They cannot always recognise a lethal mine or unexploded shell when they see one. In the five ICRC supported physical rehabilitation centres in Yemen, 38 per cent of the patients are children.
“I personally have seen a case where a young boy in Al Hudaidah lost a leg and has some series injuries because he thought he was picking up a toy, when it was in fact a UXO”, says Mike Trant. “He brought it home and dropped it in the house and got injured, and as well his mother and sister sustained injuries in the explosion.”
Every young person who has lost a limb yearns to live an active life again. But even with treatment, the process is challenging, and painful. Osama Abbas, who is 14, is still growing, and the first artificial leg he received didn’t really fit him. “Walking wasn’t so easy, in Aden they provided me with a better one,” he says. “But now I need an operation to fix the bone and also a more advanced artificial limb.”
Last year the ICRC provided 90,000 people in Yemen with artificial limbs, physiotherapy, braces or splints. 90,000 people, many of them children, who should never have needed such treatment, who should never have suffered such injuries.
Getting on their feet again requires a willpower from these young people most of us have never had to summon up. The ICRC will continue to support them, so that children like 12 year old Shaif can have, at a minimum, the chance to continue his education. “Thank God” says Shaif when he is fitted with his artificial leg. “Now I can go back to school, I can play with my friends, and I can walk everywhere just like normal!”
Physical rehabilitation, artificial limbs, and mine education can help. The ICRC is committed to continuing all of these things in Yemen. But those things cannot undo the catastrophic damage. And only a halt to the use of landmines, and a halt in fighting to allow landmines and UXO’s to be cleared, can prevent more children suffering such terrible injuries.
Original language : International soundtrack
English title : Yemen : catastrophic toll of landmines and unexploded ordnances
Colour/B&W : colour
SD/HD : HD
Resolution : 1920 x 1080
Aspect ratio : 16/9
Original material/format : H264
Best material/format available : ProRes 422

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