Displaced Marawi residents unhappy, a year after Daesh-backed siege

An evacuee stands inside her own section as hundreds of evacuees continue to be housed for almost five months now in a multi-purpose hall at Balo-i township, Lanao del Norte province after fleeing the besieged city of Marawi on Oct. 17, 2017 in southern Philippines. (AP)
Updated 22 May 2018
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Displaced Marawi residents unhappy, a year after Daesh-backed siege

  • Many residents who were displaced by the war remain uncertain about their future
  • People did not lose their homes, they have lost their livelihoods

MANILA: Five months of heavy fighting between government forces and members of the Maute and Abu Sayyaf groups, not only resulted in the death of more than 1,000 people but also left the city in ruins a year ago.
Today, while the Philippine government has announced its plans to rebuild Marawi, many residents who were displaced by the war remain uncertain about their future
Interviewed by Arab News, Ai’sha, one of the residents, lamented that “people are not satisfied with the way things are progressing.
“It (the start of the siege) will be already one year ago in a couple of days and people are still not allowed into the area,” she said, referring to those whose homes were at the ground zero or the most affected part of the city.
She added even those who live in barangays (villages) that were not hit by the fighting also continue to feel the impact of the siege. While they did not lose their homes, they have lost their livelihoods.
Even their movement — when they need to go to the market or elsewhere in the city — is affected because they are “prevented from even taking advantage of the easiest road for them.” Thus they have to go around, which means a bigger transportation cost.
When asked about the rehabilitation of Marawi, Ai’sha said many affected residents fear that the entry of multinational companies “to help them” is a mere “disguise” because eventually “they are going to take over the businesses in Marawi city.

 


Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: White House

Updated 7 min 51 sec ago
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Trump briefed on missile strike in Saudi Arabia: White House

  • White House official said they are closely monitoring the situation
  • Houthi militants said they attacked a power station in Saudi Jizan province

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has been briefed about a missile strike on Saudi Arabia, the White House said Thursday, after Houthi militia claimed an attack on a power station in the kingdom’s south.
“The president has been briefed on the reports of a missile strike in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies.”
There was no immediate confirmation of the attack from Saudi authorities.
Late Wednesday, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi militants said they struck a power station in southern Jizan province, according to the group’s Al-Masirah TV.
Earlier on Wednesday, a Saudi-led military coalition fighting the militia said a Houthi drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace.
Last week, a Houthi missile attack on the international airport in southern Abha city left 26 civilians wounded, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.
Human Rights Watch denounced last week’s strike as an apparent “war crime,” urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.
The attacks come amid heightened regional tensions with Iran, which Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused of arming the militia with sophisticated weapons. Tehran denies the charge.
Following recent Houthi attacks, Saudi state media has reported the coalition was intensifying its air raids on the militia’s positions in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah and the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.
The coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as the militants closed in on his last remaining territory in and around second city Aden.
The conflict has triggered what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than 24 million Yemenis — more than two-thirds of the population — in need of aid.