World, Middle East

Thousands displaced in Yemen’s Port Mocha: Local source

Pro-government forces recently wrested strategic port city from Houthi militia

17.02.2017
Thousands displaced in Yemen’s Port Mocha: Local source File photo

By Murad al-Arifi

TAIZ, Yemen

Thousands of families from Yemen’s port city of Mocha and its outskirts have been displaced by recent fighting between pro-government forces and the Shia Houthi militia, according to a local activist.

"More than 3,000 families from Mocha now face poverty, hunger and disease," Ahmed Mokaiber, a Mocha-based activist and journalist, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.

"They are living in extremely difficult circumstances," he said. "The ongoing conflict has only aggravated their suffering."

Most basic services in the port city, he added, including the local telephone network, had been rendered inoperable by the recent fighting.

"Residents remain cut off from the outside world," Mokaiber lamented. "The war has prevented many people from returning to their villages."

He called on the Yemeni government and international aid organizations to send urgent humanitarian relief to help Mocha’s struggling civilian population.

He also urged the government to accelerate efforts to remove landmines and unexploded ordnance from the area before displaced persons return to their homes.

In a Monday statement, the World Health Organization warned that families who had recently fled Mocha to Yemen’s nearby city of Hudeidah faced rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

Earlier this year, pro-government forces -- backed by a Saudi-led air coalition -- wrested control of the port city from the Houthis and allied forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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