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UN says conflict forces 545,000 Yemenis from homes

19 May 2015 23:15


The United Nations (UN) says more than half a million people in Yemen have been displaced since Saudi Arabia began its military aggression against the country in late March.

A spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Adrian Edwards, told journalists in Geneva that an estimated 545,000 people have been displaced, up from 450,000 announced on Friday.

The UN official said the agency’s assessments on the ground during the five-day ‘ceasefire’ had “exposed enormous difficulties for thousands of civilians displaced by conflict.”

“Teams found traumatized populations – afraid, upset and struggling to meet basic needs,” Edwards said.

Citing Yemen’s health services, the UN has said that, as of May 15, some 1,850 people were killed and 7,394 wounded in the violence in Yemen.

The World Food Program has also complained that the ‘ceasefire’ was “not long enough to reach all those in need” and that it had only managed to deliver food to about half of the 738,000 it had aimed to help.

The Saudis continued bombing Yemen early Monday with air raids on the city of Aden.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to “all parties to create the conditions leading to a permanent ceasefire.”

The ‘ceasefire’ had enabled the UNHCR and other humanitarian organizations to conduct rapid protection assessments and to supply petrol and food in 40 districts across 11 provinces of Yemen.

Saudi Arabia started its military aggression against Yemen on March 26 – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which currently controls the capital, Sana’a, and major provinces, and to restore power to Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh.

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