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Red Cross aid to Yemen delayed

6 April 2015 13:57


The Red Cross says logistical issues have delayed the dispatch of an otherwise ready-to-go emergency aid consignment to Yemen amid continuing military strikes against the country by Saudi Arabia.

The International Committee of the Red Cross’ spokesperson Sitara Jabeen said, “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.”

Another ICRC spokesperson Marie Claire Feghali said earlier that the international aid organization had gained permission to send one plane carrying medical supplies and a second plane with aid workers aboard on Monday, as it awaited further permission by conflicting sides to send a surgical team by boat to the southern Yemeni port city of Aden to the south of the conflict-stricken country.

The ICRC also said that it has been negotiating with Saudi forces for almost a week to deliver life-saving supplies and equipment to the impoverished country.

The organization has appealed to Riyadh to hold a ceasefire to allow the families affected by the conflict to seek much needed supplies, including water, food and medicine.

The organization’s head of operations in the Middle East, Robert Mardini, and other aid officials have described the conditions in Yemen as “dire humanitarian situation.”

Mardini warned that there were piles of dead bodies in the streets of Aden, Yemen’s second largest city, and hospitals treating the wounded are facing shortage of medical supplies.

The ICRC also warned about food, fuel and water shortages in other parts of the country.

The United Nations says over 500 people have been killed in the country in the past couple of weeks alone.

Saudi Arabia has kept carrying out airstrikes on Yemeni cities, particularly around the strongholds of popular committees, Sana’a and Saada. Also, battles raged on between Saudi-backed forces and members of popular committees in Aden.

On March 26, Saudi Arabia unleashed its deadly air raids without a UN mandate against Yemen.

Ansarullah fighters have taken over state matters, citing the inability of fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government to properly run the affairs of the country and contain terror and corruption.

In February, Hadi fled the capital, Sana’a, to the southern city of Aden, where he sought to set up a rival base. Hadi had stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Houthi revolutionaries. The then parliament, however, rejected his resignation, which he later withdrew in Aden.

Popular committees, supported by Houthi fighters, are now advancing southward while they have also stepped up the fight against al-Qaeda terrorists and secured many areas.

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