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Yemen: National Dialogue calls for immediate end to Dammaj conflict - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi group mark Ashura, an important period of mourning for Shi'ites, in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Arabic on the red banner reads, "disgrace is far from us." (AP)

Followers of the Shi’ite Houthi group mark Ashura, an important period of mourning for Shi’ites, in Sanaa, Yemen, on Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. Arabic on the red banner reads, “disgrace is far from us.” (AP)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—The National Dialogue Conference in Yemen has called for an immediate end to the conflict taking place in Dammaj in the northern Saada governorate between the Houthi and Salafists forces.

A statement issued by the National Dialogue Conference affirmed that members were concerned about the fighting between the Shi’ite Houthi group and Salafist parties, calling on the government to “impose its authority in the areas of conflict” and stop the flow of fighters into the region.

The statement also called for the “provision of humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict in all areas of fighting, by the Yemeni Red Cross, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and other humanitarian organizations under the direct supervision of the state.”

The presidential committee, along with the military committee, continued meetings with Saada Governor Faris Mohamed Mana’a to discuss a ceasefire after a truce had been agreed within the framework of the national dialogue.

Committees also discussed “mechanisms to deploy observers to the areas of conflict between the Houthis and Salafists” and “arrangements for the Red Cross to enter the area and deliver medical aid and remove casualties.”

They also discussed ways to put pressure on both parties “to end the clashes and enforce the ceasefire in order to start the implementation of the presidential mechanism and to exert efforts to restore confidence between the two parties and find solutions to restore peace to Dammaj.”

Military operations continued in various areas in northern Yemen between Houthis and Salafists. Eye witnesses informed Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthis intensified the bombardment of Dammaj, causing even more casualties. Eyewitnesses claimed that Houthi fighters set fire to a fuel tanker in Al-Jawf governorate.

In related news, Al-Qaeda described the conflict as a sectarian war and announced its backing of the Salafists. In a statement published on an extremist website, Al-Qaeda vowed to exact revenge from the Houthis for the deaths of hundreds of Salafists.

The ICRC evacuated 40 casualties from Dammaj on Thursday according to Yemen’s SABA state news agency. The ICRC also delivered medical and humanitarian aid to the region, Saada governor Faris Mohamed Manaa said.

This move is one of the presidential committee’s mechanisms to end the violence in the area and will be followed by the implementation of the rest of the items contained in the deal signed between the Salafists and Houthis, Manna said.