At least 35,000 displaced from violence in Yemen's north
While many Yemenis from Amran have journeyed to the capital to find safety, many others have not been able to flee the violence due to lack of financial means (Mohammed Huwais/AFP)
Reuters reported Wednesday that at least 35,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Yemen's northern province of Amran from ongoing clashes between government forces and Houthi rebels, according to a local government refugee agency.
"Based on the monitoring and follow-up that we have been doing, there are more than 35,000 people that have left for other areas in Omran or to the greater Sanaa area, Hajja and Mahaweet," wrote the head of Yemen's government refugee agency, Mutahhar Yahya Abu Sheeha in an appeal to relief organizations nationwide Wednesday.
According to Abu Sheeha, most of the families who have been displaced do not have shelter and are in "desperate need" of humanitarian aid, and others do not have the financial means to leave the areas of fighting at all.
"We direct this urgent appeal to help these families and to provide emergency help to ensure basic needs of shelter and food and medical aid, and to help get these trapped families," he added in his statement.
More than 200 people have been killed in fighting between Sanaa's government forces and Shiite Houthi rebels in Amran province since Saturday.
Rebels claimed control of Amran the city earlier this week in a move that is challenging the stability of the already fragile state.
Houthi rebels have been engaged in violent clashes with Sanaa's government forces since February. Leadership in the capital fear that the rebel group will try to take over Sanaa, but the rebels have dismissed the idea, saying their fight is targeting rivals who are loyal to the Islah party, which consists of Yemen's version of the Muslim Brotherhood.