Renewed hostilities since early September have significantly impacted civilians living in parts of Ma’rib, Shabwah and Al Bayda governorates, inducing casualties and displacement as well as restricting civilians’ movements and humanitarian organizations’ access to people in need.
According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), nearly 10,000 people were displaced in Ma’rib Governorate last month – the highest displacement rate recorded in the governorate in a single month this year. Critical infrastructure such as bridges and roads have also been damaged and destroyed.
The situation is most severe in southern Ma’rib Governorate, affecting districts including Al Abdiyah as well as Harib, Al Jubah and Rahabah, with IOM estimating that over 4,200 people fled the latter three districts in September, mostly towards safer areas in Ma’rib City, Al Jubah and Ma’rib districts. These districts already hosted large populations of internally displaced people (IDPs) prior to this latest escalation, with 602,000 IDPs in Ma’rib City, 9,300 IDPs in Al Jubah District and 101,000 IDPs in Ma’rib District. Al Abdiyah District, which is home to some 17,800 host community residents and hosts some 16,800 IDPs, has been militarily encircled since 23 September, inhibiting the ability of civilians to travel in and out of the district as well as impeding them from being reached by humanitarian partners. In Shabwah Governorate, hostilities have been particularly pronounced in Ayn, Bayhan and Osaylan districts, and drove the displacement of hundreds of people within Shabwah Governorate and into neighbouring Ma’rib Governorate in September. Unconfirmed preliminary information indicates that six civilians were killed and four civilians were injured due to hostilities in Shabwah Governorate last month – the governorate’s highest number of casualties within a single month. In southern Ma’rib Governorate, initial information indicates that civilian casualties include a woman who was killed and three children who were injured in Harib District on 2 October, as well as two people who were killed and a woman who was injured in Rahabah District on 21 September.
Information on the humanitarian situation in the affected areas of Ma’rib, Shabwah and Al Bayda governorates remains limited, in part due to the intermittent availability of telecommunications network coverage. In Al Abdiyah District, some reports indicate that movements are possible in towns, while other reports indicate that special permissions have been required to leave villages due to the poor security situation. Reportedly, people living in Al Abdiyah District were able to access markets in Ma’rib Governorate’s Mahliyah District during the last week of September, but it is uncertain whether this remains possible on a regular basis, following a resurgence of clashes at the start of October. Schools in Al Abdiyah District reportedly remain open, although many children have reportedly stopped attending classes.
Shortages of medicines and electricity are reportedly impeding the functioning of the hospital in Al Abdiyah District, with local sources reporting that the hospital is overcrowded and over capacity, requiring patients to be prioritized in terms of urgency. While verification is still ongoing, unconfirmed preliminary information indicates that some six civilians were killed and some 30 civilians have been injured as a result of shelling in Al Abdiyah District, and that more are expected to succumb to their injuries due to the lack of access to adequate medical treatment. Operations at the hospital in Al Jubah District were reportedly also suspended on 12 October, following intensification of clashes in the area.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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