Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Stranded displaced people appeal for help

By Nasser Arrabyee/29/09/2009

About 70 displaced families stranded for two weeks now in Alab crossing in the far north of Sa'ada in the border with Saudi Arabia, appealed Tuesday to the President Ali Abdullah Saleh to coordinate with the Saudi authorities to allow them to enter Saudi territories where they have relatives who will help them.

"About 150 women and children are all staying in a mosque in Alab area and the men are staying in the land without even blankets," said Ahmed Hadi Sabhan, from Bakem area.

No relief organizations can reach the areas inside Sa'ada including Bakem area, far north of Sa'ada province, because the rebels are still blocking the main road in Harf Sufyan where the fiercest battles are going on.

More 60,000 people displaced because of the war, which erupted last August 10. The UN agencies estimated the total number of those who displaced from the first round of the war in 2004, at 150,000.

If the northern neighbor of Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Arabia cooperates by allowing relief organizations to go through its territories, the humanitarian situation will get better. Reports said Tuesday that Saudi Arabia had agreed to cooperate for helping the displaced.

The government called the relief organizations working in Yemen to stop issuing releases and to go down to the fields and sites to help the displaced people. The government threatened to withdraw their licenses if they keep only "making media noise".

"Some NGOs are making just media noise, we will withdraw the licenses of these organizations if the do not come down to the fields for helping us," Said Abdul Kareem Rase Minister of Health and chairman of the ministerial committee that coordinates relief efforts.

" They should not just stay and issue press releases about the miserable conditions of the refugees."

Meanwhile, a government-supported popular committee was formed Tuesday to collect blood donations for the injured individuals of the army.

Zaid Ali Hajar, chairman of the committee, they will launch their work tomorrow Wednesday in Al Sabeen Square in Sana'a. The first stage will focus only on the blood donations while the following stages will include other popular donations for both soldiers and the displaced .

Last week, some international relief agencies, particularly, the British organization, Oxfam, warned of a humanitarian crisis in Yemen if the ceasefire is not reached.

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