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Yemen violence forces over two million to flee

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 01:44

More than two million Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes due to escalating violence in the nine-month civil war. Natasha Howitt reports.

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After nine months of civil war, Yemen's warring sides are about to begin peacetalks in Geneva. They signal the start of the most serious effort to end the war so far. And that effort offers hope. Today, more than 2.3 million Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SANAA RESIDENT, ALI AHMED ALNAHARI, SAYING: "As you can see, there are lots of damaged homes around us and their residents have fled. Some have fled to the countryside, some have fled the country all together, and some have fled to other cities. This neighbourhood has become a town of ghosts. There is no one that can provide relief or record the damages or record anything." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) DISPLACED MAN IN ADEN, HUSSEIN NASSER, SAYING: "We were forced to flee our home at the start of the war. We came to this building. I was with the resistance (supporting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi) and to this day I am still displaced." The conflict between the Saudi-led Arab alliance and the Iranian-allied Houthis has caused one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. Yemen's civilian population is bearing the brunt of it - more than 21 million are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance - that makes up around 80 percent of the population. Food, fuel, safety and security are in very limited supply. Officials say Western countries are keen to avoid a power vacuum that could give jihadist militants the haven they now have in Aden and other areas. Islamic State has exploited the chaos in the country to launch attacks. Peacetalks on Tuesday, which are coinciding with a ceasefire, are considered urgent.

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Yemen violence forces over two million to flee

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 01:44