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Air strike wreaks devastation on civilians

Explosive weapons

Handicap International strongly condemns the air strike on a funeral hall which killed 140 people and injured 500 in Sanaa, last Saturday. The ongoing bombing of civilians and civil infrastructure must be stopped immediately.

A woman with a leg injury, managed by Handicap International at the Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa at the beginning of the year

A woman with a leg injury, managed by Handicap International at the Al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa at the beginning of the year | © Handicap International

"This recent air strike, condemned by the United Nations Secretary General, demonstrates a complete disregard for civilian lives,” declares Anne Héry, Director of Advocacy and Institutional Relations. “Handicap International demands a full investigation into this attack and is once again calling for all parties to the conflict in Yemen to comply with international humanitarian law and immediately stop the bombing of civilians.

In recent months, the organisation has been running a campaign condemning the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, which sadly is common practice in ongoing conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Ukraine etc. In 90% of cases the victims of this barbaric practice are civilians.

When used in populated areas, explosive weapons kill and cause serious injury and suffering (burns, open wounds, fractures etc.). They result in disability and psychological trauma. Using weapons in this way leads to mass population displacement and destroys vital infrastructure including houses, schools and hospitals.

During the bombing, some munitions will not explode on impact. These unexploded munitions remain a threat to the civilian population long after a conflict has ended.  The presence of explosive remnants of war makes it dangerous for people to return to their homes once an attack or the conflict is over.

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Weapons clearance drones
© HI
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance drones

Since last January, HI and its partner Mobility Robotics have been trialing the use of drones to support weapons clearance experts in Faya-Largeau, northern Chad.

Weapons clearance platform in northern Chad
© HI
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance platform in northern Chad

Alongside 50 weapons clearance experts working in Chad, HI uses a remote-controlled platform, a German-made GCS 200, to clear large areas in record time.

Weapons clearance under extreme conditions
©
Explosive weapons

Weapons clearance under extreme conditions

HI has been conducting weapons clearance operations near Faya-Largeau, the capital of Borku province in northern Chad, since November 2018. Some fifty weapons clearance experts work in the area. HI Communications Officer Gilles Lordet joined the teams for a typical morning of demining.