Conflict in Yemen displaces 100,000 people

25 August 2009

Fighting between government troops and Houthi rebels intensifies

Fighting between government troops and Houthi rebels in the northwest of Yemen may have displaced as many as 100,000 people, according to a senior UN official.

“The ongoing conflict in Saada has forced more than 100,000 people to flee their homes at great risks to their lives and well-being,” said Ann Veneman, head of the UN Children’s Fund, in a statement on 24 August.

“Children and women represent the majority of the displaced.”

Although the UN is ready to provide help wherever possible, ongoing fighting between the two groups has frustrated aid efforts, she said.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in July that he would crack down on Houthi rebels who seek autonomy from Yemen’s central government, based in Sanaa.

The decision has led to a deepening conflict, although security analysts say it is impossible to measure the success of either side as few journalists have visited northwest Yemen.

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