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Thursday, Jun 01, 2023

Yemenis stranded in Sudan demand rescue as anger grows

Yemenis stranded in Sudan demand rescue as anger grows

Yemenis stranded in Port Sudan have organized protests in the Red Sea city to force their government to rescue them from the conflict-hit country.
Meanwhile, a Yemeni diplomat said that Saudi Arabia has agreed to rescue the Yemenis by ship from Sudan to the southern city of Aden.

Dozens of Yemenis in Port Sudan have asked their government and the Saudi government to rescue them, saying that the humanitarian situation is deteriorating as the number of trapped Yemenis surges amid a lack of shelter and food.

“We call on the Presidential Council, the government and Parliament to put an end to our suffering,” a poster by the group read. “We appeal to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its generous leadership to evacuate us to Yemen,” said another.

Thousands of Yemenis have been stuck in Sudan since April 15, when violence erupted between Sudan’s government and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, leading to fears of a new civil war.

The majority of Yemenis were evacuated from the Sudanese capital to secure locations such as Madani and Port Sudan, according to the Yemeni government.

Two Saudi ships transported 411 Yemenis from Port Sudan to Jeddah, where they received a one-month visa and hotel stay for two nights before being returned to Yemen by bus.

The Yemenis remaining in Sudan, however, assert that the number of evacuees is relatively small compared to the more than 2,000 stranded in Port Sudan.

“I participated in this vigil because we have been waiting for so long. Every community that was with us was evacuated. The suffering is escalating daily,” Omer Al-Mekhlafi, a final-year medical student who arrived in the city with his family a week ago, told Arab News.

“There is congestion and living quarters are crowded. People lack money and essential health services are unavailable,” he added.

Waleed Hassan Al-Matari, another Yemeni in Port Sudan, told Arab News that when his wife gave birth in the city, he was compelled to rent a nearly unfurnished flat for three days for $100. “We don’t have any money. We demand that the Sanaa government, or any other authority, evacuate us to Yemen or Jeddah,” he said.

Yemenis launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #evacuating_Yemenis_in_Sudan to bring attention to their suffering in Port Sudan and to encourage the government to rescue them.

Abdul Haq Ali Yakoub, a Yemeni diplomat at the country’s embassy in Sudan, told Arab News that Saudi officials in charge of the Kingdom’s evacuation efforts from Sudan agreed to transport the stranded Yemenis from Port Sudan to Aden on a single ship.

“We explained to them that the situation is truly tragic and that the suffering is growing by the day,” he said.

“We gave them a list of 2,245 people and they said they were working on getting clearance to move Yemenis from Port Sudan to Aden.”
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