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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Yemeni women rally against war outside UN offices

AFP , Tuesday 14 Mar 2017
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Dozens of women staged a sit-in outside the United Nations' Yemen offices on Tuesday, demanding an end to a war that has left millions displaced and at risk of famine.

Protestors at the sit-in carried signs calling for the lifting of an air and naval blockade imposed by a Saudi-led Arab coalition on areas controlled by anti-government rebels in Yemen, an AFP journalist in the capital Sanaa said.

Other signs demanded the UN pressure Saudi Arabia and its allies to allow the delivery of food and medical aid into Yemen, which UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien has described as the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world".

The sit-in is expected to span three days, according to organisers.

Protestors were seen erecting makeshift tents on Tuesday afternoon as they prepared to spend their first night outside the United Nations' Sanaa offices.

The conflict in Yemen has left more than 7,400 people dead and 40,000 wounded since the Saudi-led coalition intervened on the government's side against Iran-backed rebels in March 2015, according to UN figures.

In the past two months alone, more than 48,000 people have fled fighting in the Arab world's poorest country, O'Brien has said, as it grapples with a proxy war fought by arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Two thirds of Yemen's population, or 18.8 million people, are currently in need of assistance and more than seven million have no regular access to food.

The UN has warned the country now faces a serious risk of famine.

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