100,000 displaced in Yemen conflict

Mediation by a tribal leader from the Socialist Party has secured a truce between Houthi rebels and armed supporters of the Islah Party in al-Jawf province (north-eastern Yemen), according to the Yemen Observer.

The Shi’a and Sunni rivals had been fighting for a couple of weeks with light and medium weapons in a dispute over the control of mosques.

A wider conflict between the Houthis and the government has been raging for five years in the north of the country with little information seeping out to the rest of the world - mainly because the authorities have severely restricted humanitarian access (as noted by Human Rights Watch last November).

Some idea of the conflict’s scale can be gleaned from 
a new report by the Norwegian Refugee Council which says the number of internally-displaced people currently stands at about 100,000.

In June 2009, the World Food Programme and the UNHCR registered 5,000 newly-displaced people, and the process of registering a further 5,000 was continuing.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 4 August 2009