UN to reopen aid office in Yemen
Sanaa, March 27, 2010
The United Nations will reopen its office in Yemen's northern Saada city to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced people as early as next week as security has improved, a senior officer said.
Yemen's government struck a truce on February 11 with Shi'ite rebels, who have been battling Sanaa since 2004 over religious, economic and social grievances in the mountainous north. The conflict created 250,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs).
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared an end to the war in March citing the rebels' commitment to the conditions set by the government.
'We temporarily closed the office and asked the staff to come over to Sanaa (in August),' Carlos Geha, humanitarian affairs officer at the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, told Reuters.
'Now the situation is better we are just planning to send the staff back again as soon as next week,' he said, adding that life is back to normal in Saada city. The office houses various UN relief agencies.
Humanitarian access is needed to other areas in Saada as well as al-Jawf and Amran governorates, where continued insecurity and land mines have hampered or delayed aid distribution, a UN statement said on Friday.
'Security is the same as it was before the war. Outside Saada city we still don't know because we have not been there'.
Yemen, which also faces separatist unrest in the south, has shot to the forefront of Western security concerns since the Yemeni arm of al Qaeda claimed responsibility for a failed attempt to bring down a US airliner over Detroit in December.-Reuters
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