Singaporeans in Yemen urged to contact MFA as difficulties mount in evacuations

SINGAPORE'S Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) have urged Singaporeans in war-torn Yemen to contact the ministry, as it warns that current evacuation operations have become increasingly challenging there due to the volatile situation.

"In recent weeks, MFA has worked with foreign governments, which are mounting operations, to evacuate a few Singaporean families," said the MFA in a statement today.

"However, it is unclear how long such operations will continue given the fluid ground conditions."

The ministry added that it is keeping in close touch with the remaining Singaporeans in the Middle-east country while continuing to coordinate with other countries to facilitate their departure.

Relief workers have warned of a dire situation in the impoverished state, where a Saudi-led coalition is waging an air war on Iran-backed Houthi Shi'ite rebels who seized power in the capital Sanaa.

Last Tuesday, a Singaporean woman living in Aden, Yemen's main southern city, contacted the MFA to seek help desperately as rebel troops closed in on the city.

With assistance from officials, Madam Sherin Fathimah, 37, and her four children, aged between four and 13, were eventually picked up by a Chinese frigate last Thursday at the Port of Aden and taken to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Madam Sherin and her children arrived safely in Singapore last Saturday.

At least 53 people were killed in 24 hours of street fighting and heavy shelling between rebels and fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in Aden, medical and army sources said yesterday. Aden is the last bastion of support for Mr Hadi who fled from Sanaa to Aden in February.

The World Health Organisation today said that fighting in Yemen over the past few weeks has killed more than 540 people and wounded 1,700 as the country sinks deeper into a multi-sided conflict.

Singaporeans in Yemen who have not contacted the MFA or require urgent assistance may contact the MFA Duty Officer (24 hours) at 6379 8800/8855 or mfa_duty_officer@mfa.gov.sg. They can also eRegister with MFA at http://eregister.mfa.gov.sg/.