Yemenis flee violence in south

2011-07-04 22:51

Aden - Some 54 000 Yemenis have fled the flashpoint southern province of Abyan since militants took over its capital last month, a government official said on Sunday, as fighting intensified in the area.

Mass protests demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade rule and a political impasse continue to paralyse Yemen, as he recovers in Riyadh from an assassination attempt.

His government risks risks losing control of swathes of the country and giving al-Qaeda's local wing a foothold next to key shipping routes.

The flight of thousands of people from the southern violence, as well as severe food and water shortages, raise the spectre of a humanitarian crisis in a country already on the verge of collapse.

A government official in charge of refugee affairs told a UN delegation visiting Yemen that tens of thousands had fled from Abyan to neighbouring Aden, a port near a strategic sea lane through which ships carry some 3 million barrels of oil daily.

In the past few months, militants have seized two Abyan cities as well as a military base and are fighting the army to try to capture another base outside the provincial capital.

A local official said 13 militants and six soldiers were killed in fresh clashes on Monday around the base. Troops sent a plea for help on Sunday, saying they had been under siege for over a month.

Deliberate ploy

"The 25th brigade fighting outside of Zinjibar will continue fighting until the last shot, despite the the difficult conditions it is facing, including lack of supplies and human reinforcements," the official told Reuters by telephone.

Officers in the 25th brigade have said they are in dire need of troops, weapons and water.

The official on Monday blamed higher military authorities for troops' inability to gain ground against militants, saying warplanes were striking the wrong targets: "They're bombing areas unrelated to the clashes, where there are no armed men hiding out".

The president's opponents accuse him of deliberately letting militants tighten their grip on the country to prove to neighbouring oil giant Saudi Arabia and Western governments that only he stands in the way of an Islamist militant takeover.

Local efforts to mediate the crisis have also failed.

A powerful southern tribal leader in Abyan, Sheikh Tareq al-Fadli, tried to bring together representatives from the army and militants on Monday, but tribesmen who attended said neither party had sent envoys.

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  ali abdullah saleh  |  yemen  |  syria conflict  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

The rich will pay - Mpofu

The EFF in Gauteng will focus all its energy on improving the lives of the poor, the party's premier candidate Dali Mpofu says.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Watch what happened when we blindfolded Helen Zille and asked her to eat random things
13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Century City - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Ratanga Road Southbound
    ROADWORKS - lane closure between Ocean Spirit Avenue and Century Boulevard (until mid April)
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 05:58 AM
    Road name: Spine Road
    ROAD CLOSED between Weltevreden Drive and Seafarer Drive due to roadworks (until mid April)
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

Keep it together Text. Email. Social. With all the different ways to...

From R1399.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Treat yourself to something beautiful. You tend to put so much energy in making everything around you work harmoniously, and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.