Aden no longer taking IDPs from stabilized Abyan
Nader Al-Banna, information manager for the unit, said the executive unit, along with all its systems and other international organizations in Aden, would move to Abyan to provide the same services available in Aden.
Al-Banna said the building used as Abyan governorate’s center of IDP management will become the center of the executive unit and other international organizations providing humanitarian aid.
According to him, the purpose of moving the unit is to better collect information about IDPs, including new cases, based on data given by the local authorities in Abyan.
“Services and humanitarian aid for Ramadan will arrive in Abyan in coordination with local authorities,” he said.
Last year, people were forced to leave their homes in Abyan and move to Aden because of battles that broke out between Ansar Al-Sharia—a militant group with links to Al-Qaeda—and the Yemeni military.
Displaced persons had no choice but to live in Aden schools because the government didn’t provide camps or refuges in which they could live.
Ali Al-Yazidi, Yemen’s minister of local administration, said the government is trying hard to establish new camps for the IDPs in their villages in order to evacuate the schools and begin renovating them.
He said arrangements are being made to move the IDPs so they can move back to Abyan over the summer. The plan is to renovate several of the schools in Abyan and Lahj before the beginning of the school year.
Al-Yazidi said teams tasked with removing landmines would finish clearing the entire governorate of explosive devices within the next few days.
He added that authorities have tried hard to bring back services to several cities and villages. The efforts will continue during Ramadan so displaced people can return.
Al-Yazidi said landmines laid by Ansar Al-Sharia hinder the work of committees and teams trying to restore services to areas in Abyan.
Teams from different state facilities started providing services in areas cleared of landmines, including Lawdar Hospital, Al-Yazidi said.
According to him, what is now important is to clear landmines from Abyan so that it will be safe for committees to arrive and to begin surveying the destruction. Reconstruction will begin after that.
Salah Dabwan, head of Aden Neighborhoods’ Youth Organization, said all IDPs residing in schools in Aden and Lahj are poor. They prefer not to go back to Abyan, fearing further battles. Moreover, it is also difficult for them to get back to their destroyed homes.
“The IDPs have lived in these schools for a long time. They are used to living here. They don’t want to go back to their villages because they have bad memories there,” Dabwan concluded.