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Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Second Saudi ship to evacuate hundreds of Yemenis from Sudan

Second Saudi ship to evacuate hundreds of Yemenis from Sudan

Hundreds of Yemenis have been relocated from the Sudanese capital Khartoum and other conflict-hit areas to Port Sudan in preparation for their evacuation on Saudi ships to Jeddah.
At least 1,500 Yemenis have arrived at the Red Sea port and another 800 are en route to the city, the Yemeni Student Union said on Thursday.

The union urged the Yemeni government to evacuate them immediately, and provide them with money, shelter and food.

Afif Al-Barashi, head of the students’ union, told Arab News that the situation for Yemenis in Port Sudan is deteriorating due to an influx of new arrivals and a lack of adequate housing or humanitarian aid.

The union is attempting to rescue 300 to 400 Yemenis still trapped in Khartoum, he added.

“We hope that they will all be evacuated as soon as possible.”

As many as 4,000 Yemenis could be seeking to leave the country, said Al-Barashi.

A Yemeni man went missing on Wednesday after being assaulted by a gang in Khartoum as he attempted to leave the city and was presumed to be hiding with a Sudanese family, Al-Barashi said.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to transport Yemeni evacuees from Sudan on board its navy ships to Jeddah.

The first group of 239 evacuees left Port Sudan on a Saudi ship on Tuesday, and a second group was expected to leave late on Thursday.

Yemenis who arrived in Jeddah on the first ship told Arab News that they had been offered a one-month visa, free hotel accommodation for two nights, and buses had been organized to take them to the Yemeni towns of Aden and Marib.

“We express our gratitude and appreciation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, its leadership, and its hospitable people for this commendable initiative,” Osama Hamid Al-Hemyari, a Yemeni evacuee, said.

“We would have been in a calamitous and tragic situation if Saudi Arabia hadn’t evacuated us,” he said.

“We would have been without shelter, and would have sustained physical and emotional harm. For these efforts, we extend renewed praise and gratitude to God and then to the Kingdom.”

In Port Sudan, Yemenis have complained that a large number of men, women and children are crowded into a wedding hall in the city, while others have slept outdoors.

Omer Al-Mekhlafi, a final-year medical student who arrived in the city with his family on Wednesday, told Arab News that he and his family have been forced to sleep on the ground without blankets, and that no one has been evacuated from the city in days.

“Families, women and children have nowhere to dwell as a result of the evacuation delays,” he said.

Al-Mekhlafi has been in Sudan for seven years and was due to finish medical school when the violence erupted.

“The conflict broke out just as I was about to complete my final semester of college. A projectile struck my neighborhood, resulting in human casualties. We hurried to remove only what we could carry, leaving behind seven years’ worth of books and other valuables,” he said.

Al-Mekhlafi said his family planned to return to Aden or the besieged city of Taiz.
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