Ja’ar relative calm after 3 days shelling
ABYAN, Aug 14 — After three days of continues armed conflict Ja’ar district in Abyan has seen relative calm lately. However the locals are still anxious and not sure whether the shelling will return or not. They also are affected badly because of the scarcity of water now that the main water tank was attacked as well as the local hospital.
Locals from Ja’ar, Abyan, confirmed that shelling on the governorate has resumed since last Sunday. Some of the displaced families have returned to the governorate after a few days’ ceasefire between militant groups and state security forces in Ja’ar. The attack, launched by state forces, leveled the governorate water tank on Khanfer Mountain. It was the first military action to occur this Ramadan.
“The attack on Sunday started in the morning and lasted till now, more than seven air strikes” Ahmed Yaslem, a local reporter, told the Yemen Times. “The strikes targeted local interests such as the water tank, a workshop and an empty health institute.”
According to Yaslem, when the state target these places, they have usually received intelligence that militant groups are located there. But by the time the state reacts and initiates its attack, the groups have already long vacated these locations.
“When the water tank was shelled and polluted the locals cooperated to empty it of polluted water. They also separated the damaged part and disposed of it,” said Yaslem.
Locals, who for few days felt safer, are back to worrying. Most of the air strike victims in Ja’ar, they note, are locals and not militant groups. Apart from the war in the governorate, the governorate also suffer from fuel shortages and continuous power cuts. These strongly affect the one hospital they have.
Dr. Mohammed Fadhl the deputy of Al-Razi Central Hospital told the Yemen Times that most of the medical staff has left the governorate. Only 120 employees out of 443 employees remain in Abyan. Most of those who left lived in the areas most stricken by violence, such as Mudyah, Zunjbar, Al-Kod, and al-Musimer.
The emergency department is the only department still functioning in the hospital. General emergency, delivery, X-rays, and the lap and general services are all the hospital can provide now.
According to Dr. Fadhl diarrhea cases are increasing. “We have been receiving diarrhea cases since April 28,” said Dr.Fadhl. “In June and July we treated 1890 case from diarrhea, yet no one knows what the causes are, though only some of them got it from polluted water from different areas.”
Another problem plaguing Ja’ar is the lack of security on the roads between Aden and Abyan. Emergency cases that can’t be treated in the Al-Razi Central hospital must be transferred to Aden’s hospital, but the road has been blocked since the spring. “We used to take Al-Alam road, which is only 45 minutes from Ja’a to Abyan, but as it’s blocked now we take other roads. The shortest takes four and half hours and puts the patients in danger because of floods and air strikes as well”, he added.
Moreover, the hospital is short on stored oxygen, according to Dr.Fadhl. He has contacted the local authority. “The local authority didn’t but they haven’t done anything about it yet,” he added. The Financial Ministry stopped the hospital’s allocation since July because the hospital treats injured militants. According to the hospital administration, the medical mission is humanitarian and should never be linked to any political point of view. This financial cut put the hospital in a critical situation as there is no chance to pay diesel or fuel for the generators.
Some of Abyan’s tribe came together to expel the militant groups, according to Ahmed al-Aydaros, the governorate’s council member. After successfully expelling the militant groups from Lauder, they formed popular committees.
“The tribes now discuss their plans to free Zunjbar from the militant groups, but there is a dirty game being played by the authorities to hand Abyan to the militant groups, groups without who believes that the Central Security was under the militant groups without even one bullets” said al-Aydaros.
On the other hand, the main military camp 25 Mika in Abyan has been surrounded by the militant groups for more than three months now. Abdalrahim al-Aswary, public relations officer at the 25 Mika camp, told the Yemen Times that this week things have improved at the camp. “We managed to evacuate the martyrs and casualties from the camp.” Although the camp is still surrounded by al-Qaeda from Zunjbar’s side, the state is using air strikes to free the camp, said Al-Aswary. Food is provided well there but al-Qeada has managed to cut the phone coverage