Thursday, March 29, 2012

Armed clashes end, but consequences may last forever

Five-year old Ali and nine year old Safa’a are from Bani Jarmouz, near the capital, which has witnessed months of clashes between armed tribesmen and the military.  Due to these clashes, Ali and Safa’s family fled their home in May 2011.  Late February of this year, they returned home believing that everything was ok.    

Last week, the siblings were playing outside, and suddenly their mother heard an explosion.  She went out to look, and could not believe what she saw.  She immediately fainted.  The people in the neighborhood jumped to the scene, some carrying the wounded bodies of the two children, and others carried the mother inside the house.

Safa'a Mohammed Luqman, 9 years old
When Safa’a and Ali were playing, their small feet touched either a shell that had not previously exploded or a mine.  The mother did not know what it was, and said no experts have gone to the area to check.  

The children are now in a hospital in Sana’a because no such facilities exist in their area.  When I asked Safa’a what do you wish for, tears rolled down her face and all she could say was “everything hurts.”  I could not ask Ali the same question because he was still in a coma.

Ali Mohammed Luqman, 5 years old
Long after the perceived silence, innocent people continue to suffer the consequences of armed clashes.  There are many more mines and shells waiting to explode.  In addition to removing barricades and tanks from streets, the military committee must also focus on serious concerns of shells and mines hidden in various places throughout the country.  It is the responsibility of all sides to remove these mines and shells from civilian areas.