Record numbers flee Somalia, Ethiopia for Yemen: UN

UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres (R) speaks to Ethiopian illegal immigrants from the Oromo region waiting for smugglers' boats to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. Each year tens of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalis make the perilous crossing to Yemen in the hope of a better life away from home, where economic deprivation, persecution and conflict have devastated their lives, (File).

UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres (R) speaks to Ethiopian illegal immigrants from the Oromo region waiting for smugglers' boats to cross the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. Each year tens of thousands of Ethiopians and Somalis make the perilous crossing to Yemen in the hope of a better life away from home, where economic deprivation, persecution and conflict have devastated their lives, (File).

By http://www.voanews.com

Yemen has seen a surge of refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia, with a record 12,545 arriving by sea last month as they fled unrest, famine and persecution, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

The October total — the highest since UNHCR records began in 2006 — brings the number of people who arrived in Yemen by boat this year to 84,656, well above the 2009 high of 77,000.

Of the arrivals roughly three quarters were from Ethiopia and the remainder from Somalia.

“We are really experiencing a surge,” said Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Somalis said conflict, insecurity, drought and famine were driving them to leave their country, while Ethiopians cited a lack of economic opportunities, with some saying they had fled in fear of persecution in their region.

The UNHCR said it was concerned that most arrive in Yemen unaware of the insecurity and fighting in many parts of the country “which makes further movement difficult and risky.”

“We are concerned about an increasing trend of abductions, extortions, kidnappings and sexual assaults targeting refugees, and particularly Ethiopian migrants,” a statement said.

Between 2006 and 2008, Somali refugees accounted for the majority of all arrivals in Yemen, but Ethiopian migrants have since constituted the largest group among those crossing the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The United Nations on Friday downgraded famine declarations in three Somali regions, but warned the crisis remains the worst in the world with nearly 250,000 people facing imminent starvation.

Much of southern Somalia is controlled by Islamist Shebab rebels, who are battling both the Western-backed government in Mogadishu and Kenyan troops in the far south, after Nairobi sent troops across the border last month.

Advertisements
Categories: General | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: