Yemeni Cultural Authority Urges UNESCO To Take Measures To Save Old City Of Sanaa

Yemeni Cultural Authority Urges UNESCO to Take Measures to Save Old City of Sanaa

CAIRO (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 04th August, 2020) The General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen (GOPHCY) has called upon international organizations, especially the UNESCO and its World Heritage Center, to take measures in order to save the historic part of the Sanaa city, as some of its buildings have been subjected to major destruction due to continued rainfall, the GOPHCY's statement said.

According to UN estimates, the city, located on the Arabian Peninsula, has been built and inhabited for approximately more than 2,500 years. Sanaa was placed on the World Heritage List in 1986. In the seventh and eighth centuries of our era, the city became a major center for islam believers.

In 2019, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee put the old city of Sanaa on a list of historic sites that are in danger, as it has been affected by the long-standing conflict between several Yemeni parties. The cultural organization has repeatedly called on the warring sides to stop hostilities and protect the country's national heritage.

"The old sites of Sanaa that have survived hundreds of years may be destroyed at any moment as a result of the continued heavy and unprecedented rains that led to the almost total collapse of a number of residential buildings," the statement read, cited by Yemen's SABA news agency late on Monday.

The city is now facing "a real catastrophe that threatens its existence," the GOPHCY said.

Yemen's cultural authority has urged the international community to take responsibility in a bid to save the human heritage from any further damage caused by heavy rains that some of the country's provinces have experienced over the past few days.

Late on Monday, the office of the Yemeni Health Ministry in the province of Marib said that unprecedented weather conditions had killed 16 individuals, including eight children, and left at least four other people injured.

For over five years, Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces, led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the Houthi Shia rebel movement.

The lasting COVID-19 pandemic and poor living conditions have deteriorated the situation in the already war-torn country, which is considered by the UN to be the worst in the world.