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Yemen war: Life in Mukalla after Al Qaeda

Anjana Sankar
Filed on August 16, 2018 | Last updated on August 16, 2018 at 06.31 am
EAGLE EYE: The UAE-trained Yemeni forces take no chances when it comes to ensuring security and safety of people in Mukalla.- Photo by Ryan Lim
EAGLE EYE: The UAE-trained Yemeni forces take no chances when it comes to ensuring security and safety of people in Mukalla.- Photo by Ryan Lim

Security is still tight as the fear of Al Qaeda and their sleeper cells that can launch an attack anytime, lingers.

The coastal town of Mukalla in the South of Yemen is emerging from the dark shadows of terror. The port city, which is also the capital of Yemen's biggest province Hadramawt, was overrun and besieged by Al Qaeda in 2015.

The UAE forces, which are part of the Coalition army, finished off the militants in 2016, cleared the city in a day, and pushed the remaining fighters to the mountains.

Security is still tight as the fear of Al Qaeda and their sleeper cells that can launch an attack anytime, lingers.

But as you travel through the city, there are plenty of signs that people have resumed normal life. The city is on its path to recovery and development thanks to the millions of dirhams the UAE is investing for rebuilding Mukalla.

Access to better healthcare, refurbished schools for children, better power supply, ports open for business, airports in full swing - all are improving the life of the local people who have seen the worst.

Women are tasting freedom again after enduring the restrictive religious rules imposed by Al Qaeda militants. Girls were chucked out of schools and woman were not allowed to work. But, now they are very much part of the mainstream workforce.

A radio station that the militants had burned down has also resumed operation in a new building with a female director at the helm.

While hospitals in Mukalla continued operating during AQAP rule, medicines were scarce due to a blockade of the port. But thanks to the UAE Red Crescent's aid and relief supplies, patients are able to receive free treatment in the city hospital. Doctors claim the number of malnourished kids in Mukalla is plunging as parents are able to feed them better.

The local police forces are also getting more efficient under a comprehensive training programme initiated by the UAE's Ministry of Interior. They will soon take lead in keeping the people of Mukalla safe while the UAE will keep investing into rebuilding the country that is reeling under the hardships from a civil war.

 

 


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