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Middle east

The internet reacts to the violence in Yemen


Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-09-29

Today on the Web: The web reacts to violent clashes in Yemen, the blogosphere talks about the terrible flooding in the wake of tropical storm Ketsana; and paintball fans recreate a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on a giant canvas.

War in Yemen

The fighting in Yemen is intensifying. On Sunday, there were violent clashes between the army and Shiite rebels in the northern provinces of Omrane and Saada. The main victims of this conflict have been civilians. The online community has been reacting.

The fighting has been raging since August 11 between the army and Zaidi rebels, who stand accused by President Ali Abdallah Saleh of enjoying support from Teheran. This online video shows the extent of the violence. The footage shows the army attacking a rebel stronghold in the north west of the country.

The conflict has destroyed the lives of many innocent civilians, as shown in these videos, circulating on share sites. Several hundred people are thought to have been killed, and 55,000 more are said to have been displaced since the fighting began.

And on Twitter, users are commenting on this hunt for rebels launched by the Yemeni President. This blogger questions whether the country is about to become a new Afghanistan, while this net user asserts that the rebels will continue to fight, whatever the stakes.

More and more people are using the web to talk about the conflict, for example, here a blogger denounces international community's silence on the issue.

This is a point of view shared by many NGO’s on the ground in Yemen. The UN Refugee Agency expresses concern about the fate of the Yemeni conflict’s victims on its site, siting in particular the suffering of women and children.

Floods in the Philippines

The Philippines witnessed terrible flooding in the wake of tropical storm Ketsana on the weekend. At least 73 have died and over 280,000 have been displaced - with many finding refuge in emergency shelters. This situation has been widely commented upon by the online community.

amateur videos quickly appeared on share sites after the flood hit. Spectacular images in which we see the extent of the flooding and how inhabitants did everything they could to avoid becoming trapped by the rising waters.

Others, such as this user of the photo share site Flickr posted photos taken of the storm. The photos illustrate the extent of the devastation caused by Ketsana.

And this blogger explains here that many storm victims had to spend Saturday night on the roof of their homes without food or water.

Meanwhile, net users in the country remain mobilised to assist victims. This interactive map lists all the people who were able to give their whereabouts but who are yet to receive any assistance and invites citizens to do what they can to help them.

And on Twitter, messages of solidarity with the victims have multiplied since the weekend. While this blogger has listed the addresses of rescue and donation collection centres on his site. He urges his readers to send these people clothes, food and drinking water.

Environmentam Protection in Morocco

Subject to ever more insistent criticism by Moroccan environmental NGO’s, King Mohammed VI has decided to take action. The Moroccan sovereign has called on his Government to draw up a National Environment and Sustainable Development Charter. The aim is to offer protection to Morocco’s natural riches. He has also announced that an Environment Secretary will be appointed. On the web, NGO’s have welcomed this decision.

Citizen Ambassadors for the UN

The UN is looking for Citizen Ambassadors. The organisation has launched an online search promoted in particular by its secretary general, Ban Ki Moon and the actor, George Clooney. The aim is to encourage net users to answer the question: ‘If you had the opportunity to speak to world leaders, what would you say to them?’ The 5 finalists will be nominated ‘Citizen Ambassadors’ and will be invited to the UN headquarters on occasion of the 64th UN Day on October 24.

Video of the Day

is the video currently creating an online buzz. It is an artistic performance created by a team of Paintball fans who recreated a portrait of Marilyn Monroe on a giant canvas, using only balls of paint from their weapons. An original idea with an astonishing result.

Date created : 2009-09-29