News / Middle East

Many Internally Displaced Yemenis Returning Home

A Yemeni man, right, uses his mobile phone to take photos of his friend as they gather near the historical site of Bab al-Yemen in the the old city of Sana'a, Yemen, Nov. 14, 2012.
A Yemeni man, right, uses his mobile phone to take photos of his friend as they gather near the historical site of Bab al-Yemen in the the old city of Sana'a, Yemen, Nov. 14, 2012.
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations refugee agency says it is seeing growing numbers of internally displaced people in southern Yemen return to their homes.  The UNHCR says this is the first time since violence and civil strife broke out in early 2011 that so many people are deciding it is safe for them to go back to the homes they fled.  
 
U.N. refugee spokesman, Adrian Edwards, says the UNHCR, together with the Yemeni authorities, has helped more than 80,000 internally displaced people go home over the past few months.  And, he says the returns are ongoing.
 
“This is the first significant displacement decline since May of 2011 when fighting between government troops and militants erupted in this part of Yemen.  It also follows the re-establishing of government authority in the southern province of Abyan in July.  Initially, the returns were slow because of widespread presence of landmines and unexploded ordinance, as well as extensive damage to infrastructure in several areas.  And, in many cases, people simply wanted to see more evidence of improvements before making the decision to return," said Edwards.
 
Inspired by the Arab Spring, violent protests broke out against the autocratic rule of Yemen’s former President, Ali Abdullah Saleh in January 2011.  This turmoil later spread to the southern part of the country.   A new president, Abed Rabbo Manoor Hadi was elected February 2012.  However, ousted President Saleh reportedly is believed to still wield considerable influence in Yemen.  
 
The UNHCR reports most of the 25,000 internally displaced who had been sheltering in schools and other public buildings in the port city of Aden have returned to Abyan.  It notes the government is covering transportation costs for people returning there.  And, security personnel are manning checkpoints along the route to ensure safe passage.
 
Edwards says the UNHCR and other agencies are providing further support.  He says his agency in particular is distributing shelter repair kits to more than 30,000 people, as well as other relief items such as mattresses, blankets and kitchen sets.
 
“We plan to help 180,000 persons in Abyan with shelter and non-food relief kits.  Currently, the challenges include widespread damage to property and infrastructure, a still fragile security situation, and patchiness in provision of public services.  Continuing international support and stable security will be essential if these returns are to become sustainable, and particularly if internal displacement in southern Yemen is to be brought to an end during 2013," he said.
 
In the meantime, Edwards says the current situation for hundreds of thousands of homeless people in northern Yemen remains bleak.  He says more than 300,000 people still are displaced from the conflict that has been running on and off since 2004 between the Yemeni government  and Shi'ite al Houthi rebels.
 
He notes the situation in the north remains volatile and people feel too insecure to return home.   Indeed, earlier this year, he says tribal clashes in the northern governorates forced more than 6,000 people to flee their homes.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid