Bangladesh officials moving towards Yemen

Dhaka’s mission in Kuwait is sending a team to Aden to coordinate the evacuation process of Bangladeshis in the trouble-hit Yemen after India positively responded to assist.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 2 April 2015, 08:05 AM
Updated : 2 April 2015, 08:43 AM

Officials at Kuwait embassy told bdnews24.com that they would send a two-member team on Thursday who would first fly to a country just opposite to the Gulf of Aden and then enter Aden.

Sea remained the only route for travelling to Yemen from outside since Houthi fighters emerged as the most powerful force in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country.

The minority Shia fighters captured the capital Sana’a and ousted the country’s President.

As foreigners were leaving the country, Bangladeshis remained stranded as there was no Bangladesh mission there.

The government has formally approached UN migration agency IOM and talked with India that was taking back its nationals using ships. India responded positively on Wednesday.

bdnews24.com New Delhi Correspondent citing a commander of an Indian warship says the ship picked up 210 Indians last night from Aden and about 40 non-Indians, some of them were said to be Bangladeshis.

But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dhaka and Bangladesh mission in Kuwait could not confirm whether they were Bangladeshis.

Counsellor of Bangladesh embassy in Kuwait which is accredited to Yemen SM Mahbubul Alam told bdnews24.com that he would go to Aden as part of the Bangladesh team.

Officials say this team would coordinate the entire process from the ground.

“We’re coordinating from Kuwait, but now we have to be there since there is an issue of verifying our nationals and giving travel permit to those who don’t have,” said a diplomat in Kuwait who cannot be quoted.

“We have already listed names of 300 Bangladeshis, there might have some duplicates, but we are focusing on to find out our nationals.

“Our assumption is that the number may be between 1500 and 3000 or may be below 1500. We can’t confirm the number since we don’t have mission there,” the diplomat said.

However, in Sana’a which is the most difficult part to travel the Kuwait embassy has opened a five-member cell with the help of the Honourary Consul General, who is Yemeni.

Other members of the cell are Bangladeshis including stranded Engineer Md Golam Mostafa who contacted bdnews24.com from his hotel Shahran.

“We’re in touch with them,” said the diplomat.

Bangladesh foreign ministry has also released a set of contacts for the Bangladeshis stranded in trouble-hit Yemen.

 The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, says Yemenis are fleeing the conflicts and Saudi air strikes, and taking refuge to Somalia’s northern coastline, just opposite the Gulf of Aden.

At least 32 Yemenis so far crossed the Gulf.

Saudi Arabia is leading strikes against the Iran-backed rebels. Bangladesh has endorsed the Saudi-led efforts in Yemen.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
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