The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says about 45,000 Yemenis have been forced out of their homes over the past few weeks as a result of fighting around Mukha intensified recently by the Saudi-backed militiamen’s seizure of the southwestern port city.
Shabia Mantoo, the UNHCR spokeswoman for Yemen, told AFP on Wednesday that the figure on internally displaced persons (IDPs) was based on data compiled by UN agencies.
She said that many of those fleeing the fighting around Mukha made their way north to the provinces of Ibb and Hudaydah.
“Eight thousand people have been displaced from Mukha and Dhubab (district in Ta’izz province) to Hudaydah alone, many of them with literally nothing but the clothes on their backs,” Mantoo said.
Saudi mercenaries and the militants loyal to resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi seized Mukha on February 10 and announced plans to occupy the country’s main Red Sea port of Hudaydah afterward.
Fighters from the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who have been defending Yemen against the ongoing deadly Saudi aggression, launched an operation to liberate Mukha.