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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Humanitarian situation in Abyan

Commissioned for Yemen Rights Monitor by journalist of a Yemeni newspaper, who goes by Z.A. in these articles. 

More than 20,000 people have fled from the governorate of Abyan due to the clashes that are taking place in the district f Zinjabar between the Yemeni army and militants of al-Qaeda. Many families have left their houses leaving all their belongings. All the fled families live now in schools in the city of Aden and Lahj. Many of the fled people have now symptoms of cholera and need medications and treatment. More than 600 citizens are still trapped in Zinjabar and need evacuation.

Om Nasser from Abyan, speaks in tears, "Why Yemenis are killing each other. Terrorists are attacking all ages." Many families have fled to Aden and Lahj and are still deprived of many living resources. "We are not living like human beings. We left our house only wearing our clothes," she said.

The head of the executive unit of the (internally displaced persons) IDPs camp, Ahmed al-Kohlani expects that the number of IDPs is believed t increase to 30,000. In addition to the IDPs that were relocated into schools many others were relocated in some houses in both Aden and Abyan. The IDPs are living in a very poor condition suffering from lack of finance, health facilities and the most affected ones are the children and women, said al-Kohlani.

The spread of the corpses have resulted in a number of diseases among the citizens of Abyan where these corpses were turned into food for dogs and other animals. There is a great lack in the city of fuel and drinking water and prices of food were exponentially increasing.    

According to some other statistics, the number of IDPs now is more than 35,000 where they live in camps, houses and some also live in caves under very high temperature.

The local council in Abyan have called upon all humanitarian organizations to help in saving the lives of thousands in Abyan that are falling victims for the fight that is taking place.

The ministry of Health in Yemen has sent medicines to the city in an attempt to tackle and treat some of the diseases that were spread due to the spread of corpses.  

Man from Zinjibar interviews. He says : We are from Bagdan near Zinjibar from Abyan. The government used to send medicines. We have been bombed and our house has been damaged a little from it. Even my children have been injured (shows injuries on child).We don't have access to food, water and now medicine hardly comes by. We had to run, I couldn't take anything. 
Camerawoman: did you take anything with you?
Father from Abyan: We couldn't take anything with us, it was that bad.
Camerawoman asks: Was it defensive or attack strikes.
Father from Abyan : Missile strikes, not air by mainly from the sea. They were shooting missiles right at the houses
Camerawoman: where there any deaths or injuries?
Father from Abyan:  Yes, we saw two girls from the neighbors died from their injuries. 
Camerawoman: Its that bad?
Son from Abyan: They were not shooting at Al-Qaeyda (in our village) - they were simply firing right at civilian houses. They don't even know where Al-Qaeyda are.
Father: Look, Al-Qaeyda has left our village and the government forces are still firing at our houses. (there are only civilians left).
Camerawoman: Let's leave politics alone, so you are saying they are firing at civilians.
Father: Yes, they are firing at everything
Camerawoman: So you all ran away, do you have food or water?
Father: We have nothing, I just have this shirt on my back.
Camerawoman: do you need anything, what is your message you want to tell.
Father: If someone wants to do good, anything can help: food, water, clothes, tents, anything. 
Camerawoman: So you really don't have food.
Father: Some was kind to give me one rooti (bagette) we split between all of the family, we haven't eaten since the morning. We don't have a drop of water.
Camerawoman: I heard there are more people living in schools now, like in Masada.
Father: There are people everywhere, this is just one group from one part of one small town being fired on. In city of Zinjibar itself, you won't see a house with a person inside. People all ran and their livestock died of starvation because there was no one to take them out. 
Woman from Abyan: Its important that you spread the word about this situation.
Father: they are not hitting al-qaeyda, the people being hit by the attacks are mostly civilians [like us].

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