For India, mission successful in Yemen

Rajat Kain

Yemen-Indian-2Government of India is all set to bring the last of the Indian national from strife torn Yemen. With this, the series of air evacuation operations that began last week may also come to an end. However, the sea operations may continue for few more days.

“We will end r air evacuation efforts from Sana’a tomorrow, 8th April. All who want to avail should leave tomorrow. Spread the word around.” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had tweeted about the latest on evacuation late on Tuesday.

So far, 4000 Indian nationals have been evacuated. About 700 more Indians, including 600 from Sana’a, were rescued in the air operations on Tuesday. This was followed by evacuation of 1000 people on Monday, the biggest contingent evacuated by the Indian authorities so far. India is playing a key role in evacuation efforts in Yemen, as the authorities had brought out safe several foreign nationals as well. As many as 23 nations sought assistance from Indian authorities to get their nationals evacuated.

The situation in Yemen has got critical after Saudi Arabia led coalition forces intensified their offensive against the rebel militia seeking control over Yemen’s cities. Late on Monday, Yemen had slipped into further crises with 140 more people killed in the clashes between the Shiite rebels and forces loyal to the sitting President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

And the situation looks fairly grim with medical aid delayed as the rebels are giving hard push to take over Yemen’s two largest cities of Sana’a and Aden.

With no signs of any immediate truce, aid and relief work too has come to a near halt. Medical workers along with the Saudi-supported coalition forces are unable to find a ‘safe haven’ for the drop of the aid materials. International Red Cross has now appealed for an immediate truce to at least facilitate aid deliveries.

The Red Cross has been trying to fly emergency supplies in to Sana’a but the plane is still stuck on the tarmac. “We have a cargo plane with medical supplies which is ready to go. But we have logistical problems for the landing. There are less and less planes landing in Yemen. We are trying to solve the logistic problems” , Sitara Jabeen, a spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross told the Associated Press.

The crisis in Yemen has been going on since Februray with the forces loyal to disposed autocratic leader Ali Abdullah Saleh fighting with the ruling dispensation to seize control of the cities. Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh lost power in the wave of 2011 Arab Spring uprisings after which Saleh’s second in command Vice President Abed Mansour Hadi took over as the President with support from the coalition of Sunni Islamist parties.