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Fighting in Yemen displaces 20,000 people: UN

Posted on Jun 07 2014 | IANS

United Nations, June 7 : The UN and humanitarian organisations in Yemen are concerned about the new displacement of as many as 20,000 people in the country's northern Amran governorate, due to heavy fighting between government forces and armed rebels in the last two weeks, a UN spokesperson said Friday.

"The (UN) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA) says that a ceasefire in Amran came into effect two days ago and is reportedly holding," Xinhua quoted Farhan Haq, the deputy UN spokesperson, as saying at a daily news briefing here. "But it adds that the main road from the capital Sana'a to Amran remains closed."

The closure has also interrupted delivery of assistance to another group of 40,000 people who have been displaced since 2011 and reportedly need food, water and healthcare, according to Haq.

"A number of humanitarian partners continue to operate in Amran city, but all operations outside the city have been suspended," he said. "A needs assessment will be carried out as soon as security conditions allow."

The Yemeni armed forces Wednesday reached a ceasefire agreement with the Shiite Houthi rebels in the troubled northern province of Amran. The deal took effect at midnight between Wednesday and Thursday.

It stipulates an end to all military reinforcements from both sides, the deployment of impartial military monitors and the opening of the main road to the capital Sanaa.

Over the past few months, the Shiite Houthi group has clashed with the army and Sunni tribal fighters in several northern provinces, leaving about 100 people killed.

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