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Somalis Return Home From War in Yemen

  • VOA News

Women and children demonstrate against the Saudi-led coalition outside the offices of the United Nations in Yemen's capital Sanaa, August 11, 2015.

Women and children demonstrate against the Saudi-led coalition outside the offices of the United Nations in Yemen's capital Sanaa, August 11, 2015.

The United Nations says thousands of native Somalis are returning from war-torn Yemen despite a serious humanitarian crisis at home.

The U.N. human rights office said Tuesday that nearly 29,000 people have arrived in Somalia from Yemen since March, most of them women and children, with more expected in coming months.

The returns across the Gulf of Aden are a reversal of a long-term trend that has seen hundreds of thousands of Somalis flee the country to escape conflict, hunger and poverty.

Yemen has endured months of heavy fighting between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi.

According to the U.N., the arrivals are increasing the burden on already-stretched humanitarian aid efforts. About 1.1 million Somalis are displaced within the country, and an estimated 3 million are in need of food aid.

The situation is especially dire in parts of southern and central Somalia. The U.N. says nearly 20 percent of people in the central town of Hudur are severely malnourished.

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