China’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday its warships had completed an evacuation of Chinese nationals from Yemen, with more than 570 people safely transported across the Red Sea to Djibouti, from where they will be flown home.
The Chinese were evacuated in two batches, one from Aden and the other, much larger group from Hodeidah, the ministry said in a statement on its website.
Eight foreign nationals were evacuated with them, it added. China’s Foreign Ministry said the eight foreigners were employees of Chinese companies.
“Military officers must be the guardians of the people’s security, and military ships must be like Noah’s Ark for our compatriots,” the ministry said.
With the mission now over, the Chinese ships will return to the Gulf of Aden to help in operations to fight Somali piracy, it added.
China’s Foreign Ministry said that a very small number of Chinese remaining in Yemen for work reasons were in safe locations, and some Chinese diplomats also remained at their posts in Sanaa and Aden.
Violence has been spreading across Yemen since last year, when Iranian-backed Houthi fighters seized the capital, Sanaa, and effectively removed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
A People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet, which had been carrying out escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters, was dispatched for the evacuation on Sunday, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense.
The first group of 122 Chinese nationals were evacuated from the Yemeni city of Aden and arrived in Djibouti on Sunday night.
The remaining 449 Chinese nationals and six people of other nationalities left the Yemeni coastal city of Al-Hodayda on Monday and traveled to Djibouti.
China’s embassy in Djibouti is working to help the evacuees return to China, said Fu Huaqiang, Chinese ambassador to Djibouti, adding that over 260 of them will fly back to China on commercial flights within two days.
Report by Reuters and Xinhua.
Hundreds of Chinese nationals evacuated from Yemen
A Chinese warship has rescued more than 400 men, women and children from war-torn Yemen. It took more than ten hours for Weifang to cross the Red Sea and dock at the port of Djibouti with 450 evacuees fleeing fleeing the violence in Yemen. CCTV’s Vauldi Carelse reported this story from Dijibouti.