Ongoing Challenges face IDPs in Abyan
People who returned to their homes in Zinjibar, Ja’ar and Bajadar have voiced complaints about the total lack of power in their homes as well as the quality of drinking water. Others are anxious about landmines, which have been planted in several areas across Abyan.
Ashwaq Sylan, a human rights activist and a resident of Abyan, said Bajadar district and Hisn Shadad village are both infested with landmines. She said people return from Aden to their hometowns in Abyan because they largely depend on agriculture.
“The biggest challenge facing the IDPs is the landmines,” Sylan said.
She said three IDPs were killed last week in Abyan in a landmine explosion near the Ali Mosque in Bajadar district.
On the situation in Zinjibar, Sylan said most homes have been destroyed. She said some residential areas were totally razed such as Al-Falooja in Bajadar district.
Although conditions in Abyan have seriously deteriorated from the conflict between Ansar Al-Sharia and the army, efforts continue to relieve the suffering of IDPs by providing them with essential needs.
On Monday, a free medical campaign was launched under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense; the campaign will continue for two weeks and will provide services for locals including medication, tests and surgery.
Abdullah Al-Duhaimi, executive unit manager for Abyan’s displaced, said they work in coordination with Abyan’s governor, Jamal Al-Aqil, in order to provide all fundamental needs for the displaced. However, he suggested the efforts have been slow.
Al-Duhaimi said water has been restored to some areas in Zinjibar. Regarding electricity, Al-Duhaimi said they are doing their best to provide generators to Zinjibar residents.
To date, the executive unit of IDPs in Abyan has not received a report about the areas cleared from landmines. The displaced are encouraged to return to their homes provided homes are in safe places, said Al-Duhaimi. He promised the executive unit is willing to provide help and support for the displaced following their return to their homes.
“What is required now is the rehabilitation of the war-torn houses,” Al-Duhaimi said. “The reconciliation government should double its efforts in order to ensure the lives of IDPs returning home.”