Government evacuates Indonesians from Yemen

The Foreign Ministry says it has repatriated 141 Indonesians following deteriorating security conditions in Yemen, after the Saudi Arabia-led coalition bombed a number of targets in the country to strike against Houthi rebels, a Shiite minority group that has taken over the capital.

Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia due to the rebel group's advance, in which it captured key parts of the Yemeni port city of Aden.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said on Sunday that the 141 citizens were among 175 people enlisted for evacuation by the Indonesian Embassy in Yemen.

"We have been conducting the evacuation since February and now we are bringing home more Indonesians," Arrmanatha told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.

According to data from the ministry, there are 4,159 Indonesians living in Yemen, of which 2,686 are students who go to Yemeni schools and universities and 1,488 are migrant workers.

The Indonesian Embassy in Yemen says most Indonesians live in the southern part of the country, where it describes the situation as "conducive".

Arrmanatha said the ministry encouraged all Indonesians living near conflict areas in the country to sign up for evacuation to the Indonesian Embassy in Yemen.

A statement posted by the ministry's official website said the Indonesian government was concerned about conditions in the Middle Eastern country, which had intensified since the Western-backed Arab Saudi coalition struck the country early on Thursday.

"The government of Indonesia appeals to all related parties to prevent themselves from launching aggressive acts and all parties should ensure the safety of all civilians in Yemen, either locals or foreign nationals residing in the country," the statement says.

It adds that the Indonesian Embassy in Yemen will try all means to facilitate the evacuation of Indonesians, adding that the embassy also has a plan for an emergency evacuation should the situation in the country turn critical.

"The government of Indonesia will always monitor the situation in the country and will evaluate any future decision according to the most recent developments in Yemen. We also call on all Indonesians in the country to avoid the conflict areas," the ministry said.

In addition to the regional conflict, Arab leaders of the Saudi coalition emphasised on Sunday that military strikes in Yemen would continue until rebels withdrew.

The Associated Press reported on Sunday that the military coalition had pushed the Shiite rebels, who control much of Yemen, out of contested air bases and had destroyed any jet fighters remaining in the Arab world's poorest country. 

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