Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Britons encouraged to leave Yemen immediately

Mar 29, 2011

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has withdrawn many of its own staff from Yemen and is continuing to urge British citizens to leave the country 'without delay' as violence there escalates.

Yemen has been in a state of conflict since February, when the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping throughout the Middle East and North Africa inspired citizens to start protesting against the authoritarian rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Following a series of bloody struggles between protestors and the armed forces, the President agreed last week that he would consider handing over power before the end of the year. Clashes between opposition groups and soldiers loyal to the President have however continued almost unabated, leading to fears of civil war.

On Friday, when least 45 anti-government protesters died after gunmen opened fire on them in the capital Sana'a, Foreign Secretary William Hague urged all British nationals still in the country to leave “without delay”.

“On March 12 we advised all British nationals to leave Yemen as soon as they could," he said at the House of Commons. "Since the situation has continued to deteriorate since then, I want to make absolutely clear today that all British nationals remaining in Yemen should leave without delay.”

The FCO’s website currently advises against all travel to the country, and says that British citizens should look to leave by commercial flights.

Source: The Telegraph

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