News / Africa

Increasing Number of Somali Refugees Arriving in Yemen

Kim Lewis

The U.N. refugee agency [UNHCR] says an increasing number of Somali refugees are now going to Yemen - fleeing drought, famine and conflict.

It says the numbers correspond to a decrease in the number arriving in Kenya and Ethiopia.

The UNHCR says more than 3,700 refugees have reached the coast of Yemen so far in August, and more are expected in the coming months.

The route is a historically migratory one that is heavily travelled from the Horn of Africa across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen and other countries.

“What we are witnessing in [recent] weeks is that the numbers continue to be significant within the context of the overall displacement of Somalis,” said Andy Needham, the UNHCR public information officer for Somalia.

He said those who do make it across the Gulf are received by aid agencies already working in an unstable environment in Yemen.

“Our colleagues in Yemen as well as other countries in the region…have to deal with this influx of people coming on a regular basis as a result of the current famine displacements, explained Needham.

While Somalis endure banditry and a lack of food and water in walking from their home country in search of relief at refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia, the journey to Yemen is far more dangerous because they must cross the Gulf to get there.

“It’s extremely dangerous. It is often fatal, sadly. People are loaded onto vastly overcrowded boats that are perhaps barely seaworthy. They make these absolutely treacherous and perilous journeys across the Gulf and many never make it to the other side, dying along the way.”

Needham added, “They are cramped into every possible nook and cranny, even in the engine room. Sadly, we have come across many cases where people have simply suffocated from fume poisoning, as well as people drowning along the way.”

Often those who offer to take people across the water are unscrupulous, said Needham. Many are smugglers and human traffickers who, for fear of being arrested, dump the passengers overboard.

“The vast majority are coming from Somalia and Ethiopia and cannot swim, so they drown.”    He said many mass graves are created along the beaches where the bodies have washed up.

The refugees trying to cross the Gulf of Aden are a mix of people, mostly young men and teenagers with their smaller siblings in tow, searching for a new and better life.

You May Like

Ukraine President Appeals for More US Support

Speaking before Congress ahead of meeting with President Obama, Petro Poroshenko urges lawmakers to back Ukraine in its quest for freedom and democracy More

Photogallery Global Audience Watches as Scots Go to Polls

People were almost equally divided over a vote for independence, watched closely by Britain's allies, investors and restive regions at home and abroad More

China to Invest $20B in India Amid Border Dispute

Border spat between armies of two countries in Himalayas underlines mutual tensions despite growing commercial ties highlighted by Xi Jinping's high-profile visit More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctionsi
X
September 18, 2014 2:28 AM
A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid