Yemeni conjoined twins die in Sanaa

Newly born conjoined twins lie in an incubator at the child intensive care unit of al-Thawra hospital in Sanaa, Yemen February 6, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Yemeni conjoined twins die in Sanaa

  • Abdelkhaleq and Abdelrahim were born outside Sanaa around two weeks ago
  • Health services have collapsed as the conflict has ground on

SANAA: Newborn Yemeni conjoined twins whose plight sparked a plea for urgent medical treatment overseas died in Sanaa Saturday, the Houthis said.
Abdelkhaleq and Abdelrahim were born outside Sanaa around two weeks ago and shared a kidney and a pair of legs but had separate hearts and lungs.
The head of paediatrics at Sanaa’s Al-Thawra hospital, Dr. Faisal Al-Babili, said his department lacked the facilities to treat or separate the newborn boys and appealed on Wednesday for help from abroad.
Late on Wednesday, the head of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Aid and Relief Center, Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, said he had a team that was prepared to treat them.
Health services have collapsed as the conflict has ground on and most hospitals are not equipped to provide specialist treatment for rare conditions.
Bringing patients out for treatment poses enormous logistical challenges.
The government accuses the Houthis of smuggling arms through the airport and Hodeida.


France urged to suspend boat delivery to Libya over migrant concerns

Updated 25 April 2019
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France urged to suspend boat delivery to Libya over migrant concerns

  • The demand was laid out in a legal challenge that was filed at the administrative court in Paris on Thursday morning

PARIS: Eight international NGOs including Amnesty International and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded on Thursday that France suspend the delivery of boats to Libya’s coast guard on concerns they would be used to intercept migrants.

French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly had in February agreed to donate six boats to the Libyan navy, under which the coast guard operates, in a move she said was aimed at helping them “in the fight against illegal immigration.”

But the offer angered rights groups who said they would be used to block migrant boats seeking to reach Europe, forcing those on board to return to war-torn Libya.

The demand was laid out in a legal challenge that was filed at the administrative court in Paris on Thursday morning.

In it, the groups demand “the suspension of the decision” until the court decides whether or not the donation is legal. The court has 48 hours to make a decision.

The NGOs believe forcing people to return to Libya would expose them to “serious human rights violations.” Massimo Moratti, regional director for research at Amnesty International, said the pledge to deliver boats to the Libyan coast guard was “an unlawful and reckless decision.”

He said it was all the more dangerous at a time when fighting has intensified after Eastern commander Khalifa Haftar launched an offensive on the capital Tripoli earlier this month.

“Doing it now, as the armed conflict in Libya escalates, is even more callous and irresponsible,” Moratti said in a statement, warning the donation would make France “complicit” in trapping people inside the country.

The NGOs accused the coast guard of having a bad track record in respecting those in distress at sea, saying it should not be given the logistical means to step up such abuses.

The statement accused the coast guard of abuses including pushing those in distress back into the water, threatening them with weapons and firing toward them.

The six vessels, which are to be delivered in the coming weeks, are 12-meter, semi-rigid boats made by French specialist Sillinger.

Besides Amnesty and MSF, the legal petition was joined by France’s Human Rights League, immigrant support group GISTI, Lawyers Without Borders, migrant aid groups La Cimade and Migreurop and Italian research and aid group ASGI.