Situation grim in Yemen, aid delayed amid more killings

RSTV Bureau

yemen_attacksStrife-torn Yemen 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.

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

Throughout Monday, a bloody battle and heavy gun fire was witnessed on the streets of Yemen’s Moalla area between the state backed fighters and the rebels. “We are jumping over dead bodies,” Radwan Allawi, a pro-state fighter, told The Associated Press from Aden. He said calls were made from the mosque loudspeakers asking Hadi’s supporters to defend Moalla.

With no signs of any immediate truce, several aid and relief workers have warned of a serious situation in Yemen as international medical aid too has been delayed. The 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 and has called for all land, air and sea routes to be immediately opened to allow the delivery of 48 tonnes of medical supplies. The organisation claims they are ready to treat up to 3,000 wounded.

The situation is particularly dire in Aden, Yemen’s second largest city, where some neighbourhoods have had no electricity or water in days. 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.

Hadi, who is considered by the UN as Yemen’s legitimate leader, took refuge in Aden in February after the rebels seized power in Sana’a. Hadi then fled to Saudi Arabia last month as rebels advanced on his southern stronghold, prompting the military campaign by the Saudi-led coalition. Saudi Arabia, who has been leading an air campaign since March 26 against the rebels and their allies, has also asked Pakistan to contribute soldiers to the military campaign, as well as air and naval assets.

With crises deepening, India too got several of its citizens evacuated from the strife torn cities. Early today, India evacuated 1,052 more Indians – including 574 from the Yemeni capital Sana’a. Nearly 3,300 of the estimated 4,000 Indians in Yemen have been rescued in Operation Rahat so far.