> The arrival of 197 citizens stranded in Sudan to Aden, including 18 infants
The success of the first direct air evacuation flight for Yemenis in Sudan, implemented by the government
As soon as 2,000 Yemenis fled the turmoil of war in their country to Sudan, where they study, work and fulfill their dreams, they were stung by the flames of another war that began last April between the Sudanese army and the Rapid Support Forces.
It is the war that displaced more than 200,000 people to neighboring countries, according to what the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) revealed.
The number of Yemenis stranded there exceeds about two thousand people, who remained crowded in Port Sudan and other areas amid the continuation of the battles.
The two parties to the conflict continued to fight with their commitment to the terms of the talks that took place in the city of Jeddah, mediated by Saudi Arabia – the United States, in which they pledged to “protect civilians and allow the passage of humanitarian aid.”
Death precedes the promise of evacuation
The Yemenis, whose embassy continues to seek to expel them, recount the deplorable situation, which, according to them, has reached the point of “scarcity of food, drinking water, and shelter, or overcrowding in small apartments and the absence of toilets.”
On Friday, a Yemeni woman named Saada Al-Shamiri died, who had been stuck since the intensification of the conflict, after the disease intensified on her, with the delay in her evacuation with hundreds of families.
Al-Shamiri’s funeral took place amid the grief of the other stranded, in a cemetery in the Port Sudan region bordering the Red Sea, according to Omar Al-Mikhlafi, a member of the emergency committee of the Yemeni embassy.
“The deceased was taken to a hospital, but the complications of her illness reached a critical stage during the period of displacement to Port Sudan, and she died amid deep sadness,” Al-Mikhlafi explained to “The Independent Arabia”.
The tragic situation and the deadly wait resulted in four miscarriages, two fetuses were saved, and two others died, according to the Yemeni Emergency Committee.
An unprecedented appeal
A few days ago, a video clip revealed the silent suffering experienced by Yemeni female students in a number of Sudanese universities. The tragedy erupted in their burnt words as they appealed to the Yemeni government to quickly evacuate them before the humanitarian situation worsens further and they become victims of a merciless war there, according to a video clip that has spread widely.
One of the Yemeni students said that she had been waiting for the evacuation “two weeks ago,” while another said that she had witnessed births among Yemeni women and deaths as well, describing them as “sad” scenes.
The female students expressed their previous hopes for education and building a better future for their families, but now, according to one of them, “we want to escape death… There is government neglect and inaction,” as they describe.
Transition between two extremes
A Yemeni academic tells the details of his escape from the battles in Khartoum by bus with his family. “The bus broke down in the middle of the road, which prompted me to pay a large sum for another means of escape,” he says. The war prompted the drivers to double the transportation prices in return for securing the lives of the fugitives.
And the Yemeni academic, Ibrahim Al-Muhalal, adds that the country is no longer what it was before, as there is a lack of everything, “food, water and money.”
And the future of the money of many deposited in the banks became dark, amid the closure of some of them, while others were looted.
Al-Muhalal says, “We found young people providing relief to people and fugitives with water, fruits, and food. On the other side of the road, there were groups looting state headquarters, factories, and spare parts stores. We were mediating two opposites of a form of war.”
After about 12 hours of land travel filled with fear, and after passing through the points of the deployed forces, armored vehicles, the sounds of artillery and warplanes, Al-Muhalal recounts, “We arrived in Port Sudan and were received by the emergency committee of the Yemeni embassy.”
As a result of the severe overcrowding in the shelter, the war-weary Yemeni recounts, “We were next to an apartment of a Saudi student who called us after his evacuation to his country and asked him for permission to enter the apartment, so he welcomed us at that time. We had to break down the door with the Coptic owners of the apartment, who graciously hurried to prepare dinner for us.”
This comes in light of accusations against the Yemeni embassy in Khartoum of “selectiveness” in deportations, and according to Yemenis, “it was hoped that women and female students would be given priority in the evacuation process.”
Activists accused embassy officials and the attaché of expatriate affairs of communicating with a number of stranded people secretly to inform them of the flight times, asking them to prepare to transport them by air to the cities of Aden or Jeddah, on the condition that they not tell anyone.
According to observers, it is a procedure contrary to the procedures followed for the transfer of stranded persons, which were prepared in advance, and are according to the priority of those who came first to Port Sudan, or according to seniority, or according to those with special and critical cases, such as women and children.
Regarding these accusations, The Independent Arabia tried to get a response from the Yemeni embassy in Khartoum, but no response was received until the preparation of this report.
On Friday, the Yemeni embassy in Khartoum published a statement in which it said that it is preparing to operate flights for Yemeni Airlines this week directly from Port Sudan to Aden, according to the directives of the Yemeni Prime Minister. The embassy pointed out that the Yemeni government is moving to contract with another airline so that all nationals stranded in Port Sudan are evacuated and transferred to the homeland, according to “Independent Arabia”.
According to the details, a Yemenia airliner is preparing to take off from Port Sudan Airport with about 180 stranded people on board, heading to Sana’a International Airport as the second flight in the direct evacuation of Yemenis stranded in Sudan.
Earlier, yesterday, Sunday, a Yemeni plane arrived at Aden International Airport, carrying 197 citizens stranded in Sudan, including 18 infants, in the first direct air evacuation flight implemented by the Yemeni government.
The head of the Yemeni Students Union in Sudan, a member of the government emergency committee, Eng. Afif Al-Barashy, said that part of the stranded Yemenis is now boarding a Yemenia plane at Port Sudan airport, which is the second flight in the direct air evacuation process.
Al-Barashi added to “Al-Masdar Online” that the flight will transfer part of those stranded in Sudan to Sana’a International Airport, based on the arrangements of the Coordination and Inventory Committee and in accordance with the priorities of humanitarian cases, students and families.
The two flights will be followed by two other flights today, Monday, to transport part of the nearly 2,000 stranded Yemenis in Port Sudan.
Yesterday, the Yemeni Embassy in Khartoum announced that Yemenia Airways flights will operate evacuations during this week directly from Port Sudan to Sanaa and Aden.
The embassy indicated, in a brief statement on its social media account, that in addition to the direct flights to Yemenia, “the move will be made towards contracting with another airline so that all nationals stranded in Port Sudan are evacuated and return home.”
In a statement to Al-Masdar Online, the head of the federation stated that the arrangements for conducting four flights to transport part of the stranded people in the city of Port Sudan are almost complete, and the flights will take place on Sunday and Monday.
Since April 24, an emergency committee composed of the embassy, the Union and the Yemeni community has succeeded in evacuating more than 3,000 Yemenis from Sudanese cities witnessing armed confrontations to the city of Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast (about 1,800 km away from Khartoum).
As of Sunday evening, the number of Yemenis who were evacuated to Saudi Arabia and then to Yemen, during the past days, reached only 935 people, in addition to the transfer of 179 people on a Yemeni flight earlier today.
About 1,800 stranded Yemenis (including women and children) in the city of Port Sudan are still living in harsh conditions, awaiting their evacuation to the country, in implementation of repeated promises, long overdue.
Since the middle of last month, Sudan has been witnessing violent confrontations between the army forces led by Al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces led by Hamidti, the continuation of which led to large-scale evacuations, most of which took place from the coastal city of Port Sudan.