AL-MUKALLA: Two Saudi navy vessels transported 450 Yemenis from the Red Sea city of Port Sudan to the Kingdom on Sunday, the highest number of Yemeni evacuees since the Saudi evacuation operation began.
The Yemeni Embassy in Sudan said two Saudi ships named Abha and Riyadh left Port Sudan carrying 450 Yemenis to Jeddah Islamic Port on Sunday evening.
“We express our heartfelt gratitude and admiration to our brothers in Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government, the Yemeni Emergency Committee, and all those who worked tirelessly to finish the evacuation process,” the embassy in Sudan said in a statement on social media.
Thousands of Yemenis have been stranded since April 15, when violence broke out between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the paramilitary Rapid Military Forces.
Hundreds of Yemenis who escaped safely from the capital Khartoum have been crowded into a handful of shelters in Port Sudan for two weeks, awaiting rescue by their government.
Speaking to Arab News, people stranded in Port Sudan complained about a worsening humanitarian crises, a lack of health services, food and money, as well as being packed into two banquet halls.
After the departure of 450 Yemenis, more than 2,000 are awaiting their turn to be evacuated as the Yemeni Emergency Committee, which coordinates evacuations, has received new calls from those in conflict-stricken cities who have decided to flee.
“We’ve received numerous phone calls from Yemeni families residing in and around Khartoum. They initially decided to reside there because there were no battles in their area, but they’ve now decided to depart due to the continuance of the conflict, the high cost of living and the scarcity of services,” student activist Afif Al-Barashi told Arab News, adding that Yemenia Airways will begin airlifting evacuees from Jeddah to Yemen’s port city of Aden.
A Yemeni mother and her daughter died in a car accident while escaping Khartoum to Port Sudan, Al-Barashi said.
Yemeni evacuees who landed early aboard Saudi ships in Jeddah were taken by road to Aden and Marib.
On Saturday, the chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council instructed the airline to organize rescue flights from Port Sudan to Yemen, and asked the government to transport additional trapped citizens by sea to Yemen, according to the country’s official media.