70 indonesians request for evacuation from yemen: ministry

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Thursday that some 70 Indonesian citizens in Yemen have registered themselves at the Indonesian Embassy there seeking evacuation.

Spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry Arrmanatha Nasir said here Thursday that to be evacuated, Indonesian citizens should first get an exit permit from the Yemeni Government.

"There are procedures. They will need an exit permit from the Yemeni Government. So far, some 20 of them have received the permits," Nasir added.

The Indonesian Government will arrange flights to bring back its citizens who have been granted the permits.

The Ministry Spokesperson noted that conditions in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, were tolerable, although not safe.

Houthi rebels, the most powerful and organized political and military group in northern Yemen, have taken control of a large area stretching from Saada in the north to the south of Sanaa.

"According to reports from the Indonesian Embassy, regions quite far from the capital city Sanaa are calmer," he pointed out.

Previously, the Ministry stated there were around 4,000 Indonesian citizens living in Yemen; some 100 of them in Sanaa, which is the most affected city by the political turmoil in the country.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi instructed the Indonesian Embassy in Yemen to announce a plan to evacuate Indonesian citizens from the Arab country.

The government has since taken two major steps.

The first step was to set up several safe houses for its citizens, such as at Wisma Duta, the Indonesian Embassy office, and the Indonesian Students Unity (PPI) Secretariat building.

The second step was to prepare safe routes through its Embassy to transport Indonesian citizens to a place from where they could be flown back home.

Reporting by Yuni Arisandy