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150,000 Yemenis Displaced in Conflict

Posted on Sep 25, 2009

Children receive clothing as part of a UNICEF program for displaced people in northern Yemen.

An escalating conflict between Shiite rebels and Sunni government forces has displaced at least 150,000 people in the northern part of Yemen. Aid agencies are struggling to absorb the stream of civilians as the lack of supplies and internal politics exacerbate the problem.

Also check out a report by The Independent about the five-year-old conflict in Yemen.  —JCL

The Associated Press:

Tens of thousands of Yemenis displaced by warfare between the government and Shiite rebels are stranded around the war zone with aid agencies unable to reach them because of the intensified fighting, U.N. officials and rights activists said.

The humanitarian crisis has been worsened by tribes in the region robbing relief convoys as well as heavy rains that have washed away tents in some camps, they said.

Yehia Abdel-Wahab, a 46-year old farmer, told The Associated Press on Thursday that his family and 16 others were living in the open after fleeing the fighting in northern Yemen.

“We are living on handouts from the locals,” he said by telephone, saying he, his mother and his three children have been living for days under a tree in the Batna region about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of San’a and that no aid has reached the area.

“It is getting cold and we are missing many things,” he said. “We are suffering from neglect. We are only getting promises made of air.”

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By Folktruther, September 27, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the digest, Walidizo. But I confess I can no more understand Yemen politics than I can Lebanon’s.  An Israeli boy stayed with us for a year whose familiy was from Yeman-he had eight siblings- but I never could understand all the various groups in Yemen. 

The Yemini Jews mostly emmigrated to Israeli for economic purposes; he said there was no discrimination at the time.  but with religious ideology becoming more prominent, it may be different now.  Yemen is almost as big as Frannce has has a very high birth rate and a strong sense of honor.  A good place for the US not to put in troops.  Most likely they are alrready there.

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By Walldizo, September 26, 2009 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
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Ali Saleh has been in power for over 30 years yet nothing has been provided to bring this part(Saada) into modernty.The Houthy movment,which was originally sponsoured,financed and milaterily trained by Saleh’s regiem,was established as a Zaidi force to counterbalance the spread of the Wahabi sect into Yemeni tribes.By the end of the Yemeni civil war in 1994 and the defeat of the Southern cessanists, Saleh began to notice the rapid growth of the Wahabi Saudi Sect and the threat it will represent for his regiem in the future.And since Saada was historcally recognized as the seat of Zaidyism in Yemen beside being at the southern boarder of Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom,nothing could have been be more appropriate for Saleh to initiate his scheme than to start contacts with the Houthies,the most zealous defenders of the Zaidy sect.The help rendered by the Houthies and Alqaida to Ali Saleh in his fight against his Southern adversaries,managed to improve his grip over the unified Yemen.As a gesture of his appreciation,some of the Houthy family members were nominated by Saleh, to the Parlement.It was there where frictions began with Saleh’s corrupted policies forcing the Houthies to align with the opposition parties against his irresponsible behavour in running the country.Being the best organized force opposing his policies,Saleh began his first war against the Houthies in 2004 with the aim of appeasing Saudi Arabia which began to be irritated by the growth of the movment.To make the war more sellable to the Saudis,he accused the movment of being an Iranian surrogte,a fact that most Saudis fear and willing to go all the way in their support of Saleh’s fight against this movment.Now,Saleh is fighting his sixth war against the houthies,hundreds of thousands of Yemenis are victims of this needless war and with billions of Saudi dollars in Saleh’s coffer,it appeares that nothing is going to convince him to stop this war except his forceful departure.

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By Inherit The Wind, September 26, 2009 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

According to diggers and “The Contingent” it’s not “ethnic cleansing” if Arabs are doing it.

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By voice of truth, September 25, 2009 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment

If 100,000 Yemenis disappear in the middle of the desert and no one sees them, does anyone care?

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By Commune115, September 25, 2009 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

Obama is also helping worsen the situation by pledging more military aid to Yemen’s regime.

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