(AA) – Ethiopia is making preparations to evacuate its nationals from crisis-hit Yemen, the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.
“Since Tuesday, a total of 1,042 Ethiopians residing in Sanaa and its environs have registered to return to Ethiopia via telephone hotlines established for the purpose,” ministry spokesman Tewolde Mulugeta told The Anadolu Agency.
“Meanwhile, 35 others in [Yemen’s] southern city of Aden have registered to come home, and we hope this number will increase,” Mulugeta said.
“We are currently preparing logistics to airlift our citizens [home] safely,” he said, noting that the ministry was coordinating the evacuation with UN agencies and regional countries.
Tens of thousands of Ethiopians are believed to live in Yemen, he added.
Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Shiite Houthi militant group overran capital Sanaa, from which it has sought to extend its influence to other parts of the fractious country.
One week ago, a Saudi-led Arab coalition began pounding Houthi positions across Yemen.
Riyadh says the airstrikes are in response to appeals by Yemen’s embattled president, Abd Rabbu Manshour Hadi, to “save the [Yemeni] people from the Houthi militias.”