Tag Archives: Somalia

UNHCR: Record Number of Migrants and Refugees Crossed Gulf of Aden in 2012

The UNHCR reported on 15 January 2013 that “[a] record 107,500 African refugees and migrants made the dangerous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2012. This is the largest influx into Yemen since 2006 when UNHCR began compiling these statistics. The previous record high was in 2011 when more than 103,000 people arrived in Yemen by sea.”  UNHCR estimates that 80% of the persons making the crossing are Ethiopian and the remainder Somali.   UNHCR estimates that approximately 100 persons drowned in 2012.  “Boats crossing to Yemen are often packed beyond capacity and smugglers, in order to avoid the Yemeni coast guard, force passengers into the water, often far from the shores and with tragic consequences.”

Click here for full UNHCR press release.

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Filed under Data / Stats, Ethiopia, Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen

UNHCR Reports 55 people missing or drowned off northern Somali coast

UNHCR Press Release:

“Fifty-five people are drowned or missing after an overcrowded boat capsized off the Somali coast on Tuesday night (18 December). UNHCR is greatly saddened by this latest tragic incident – the biggest loss of life in the Gulf of Aden since February 2011 when 57 Somali refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa drowned while attempting to reach Yemen.

According to five of the survivors – all young Somali men – the boat was overcrowded and ran into trouble almost immediately after leaving the port of Bosasso in northern Somalia on Tuesday. It capsized just 15 minutes into its journey, spilling all 60 passengers into sea. Those on board were Ethiopians and Somalis.

To date, 23 bodies have been recovered, including those of 14 women, eight men, and a boy said to be less than four years of age. Five of the dead are confirmed to have been Ethiopians. The thirty-two remaining passengers are presumed to have drowned.

‘The tragic loss of so many lives is a new and stark reminder of the risks Somali refugees are taking as they flee their country’ said UNHCR Representative for Somalia, Bruno Geddo. ‘Without doubt, the Gulf of Aden is now the deadliest route for people fleeing conflict, violence and human rights abuses in the Horn of Africa.’

100,000 people have crossed the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden this year, despite warnings from UNHCR and other aid agencies about the risks such trips involve. In addition to using unseaworthy and overcrowded boats, those fleeing the Horn of Africa region often fall prey to unscrupulous smugglers, in whose hands they can face exploitation, extortion and even death.

With the latest deaths, 95 people have drowned or gone missing in the waters between Somalia and Yemen this year. UNHCR and other agencies, through the local Migration Response Centre (MRC) in Bosasso are currently providing support and services to the survivors and assisting the local authorities with the ongoing recovery operations.

END

Further info: Andy Needham, UNHCR Somalia PI Officer +254 733 120 931 needham@unhcr.org

Andy Needham Public Information Officer UNHCR Somalia First Floor, Lion Place, Waiyaki Way 43801-00100 Nairobi, Kenya

Somalia Displacement Portal: https://data.unhcr.org/horn-of-africa/somalia.php

m: +254 733 120 931 d: +254 20 420 2103 o: +254 20 420 2000

needham@unhcr.org www.unhcr.org www.takeaction.unhcr.org “

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Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen

11 Dead, 34 Missing in Gulf of Aden – Smugglers Forced Passengers Into Sea

The UNHCR reported on 10 February that at least 11 persons drowned and 34 are missing after their boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden. The boat left Somalia for Yemen on 4 February, became disabled and drifted, and then capsized on 8 February in bad weather.  UNHCR reported that “[s]hocking details came to light [on 9 February] as survivors recounted to local authorities and our partners how smugglers forced 22 passengers overboard soon after the engine failed. … So far, 11 bodies have been recovered on beaches around the village of Ceelaayo some 30 kilometers west of Bossaso. Locals also found 13 survivors, including two women and a teenage boy and girl….”

This latest disaster occurs after an almost 100% increase in the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants crossing the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from Africa to Yemen in 2011 compared to 2010.  103,000 migrants are estimated to have made the sea crossing in 2011 compared to an estimated 53,000 in 2010.  130 persons are known to have drowned in 2011.

Click here for UNHCR report.

Click here for my last post on the 2011 statistics.

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Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen

UNHCR: Record Number of Refugees and Migrants Cross to Yemen in 2011

The UNHCR reports that there has been an almost 100% increase in the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants who crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from Africa to Yemen in 2011 compared to 2010.  103,000 migrants are estimated to have made the sea crossing in 2011 compared to an estimated 53,000 in 2010.  130 persons are known to have drowned.  Ethiopians now make up the largest nationality making the voyage, accounting for about 75% of the total.  Prior to 2009 Somalis were the largest group.

Click here (EN), here (EN) and here (FR) for UNHCR statements.

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Filed under Data / Stats, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen

Migrant Boat Rescued by Armed Forces of Malta

An Armed Forces of Malta patrol boat rescued 44 Somalis from a sinking 7 metre dingy early Tuesday morning.  The rescue took place about 70 nautical miles south of Malta.  The migrants have been taken to Malta.  The boat is believed to have departed from Libya on Saturday.  Survivors reported that two persons died during the voyage.

Click here and here (with video) for articles.

In an incident last week, the Moroccan Royal Navy rescued 53 migrants from a boat off Dar Kabdani.  At least four persons are known to have died in that incident.

Click here (EN) and here (IT) for articles.

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Filed under Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, Morocco, News, Somalia

Maltese Constitutional Court Awards Compensation to 2 Somalis Forcibly Repatriated to Libya in 2004

From the Times of Malta:  “Two Somali men have been awarded compensation of €10,000 each after the Constitutional Court found that they were forcibly repatriated to Libya from Malta and had not been given the opportunity for asylum.  …  [After fleeing Libya by boat t]heir boat was intercepted by a Maltese patrol boat and they were brought to Malta.  Upon their arrival they were taken to the Police Headquarters. Neither of them was given the opportunity to apply for asylum in Malta nor were they assisted by an interpreter. Twenty days later the two men, together with four other illegal immigrants were taken, handcuffed, to the airport and were forcibly sent back to Libya.  Both men asked to speak to the UNHCR representative in Malta but their request was refused.  Upon their arrival in Libya they were arrested, beaten and tortured while they were kept in prison for a week. They were transferred to another prison and, three months later, they were taken to court where they were tried without an interpreter.  The men were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. During their time in prison they were again beaten and tortured. …  The case was instituted by Abdul Hakim Hassan Abdulle and Kasin Ibrahim Nur after they managed to endure torture in a Libyan jail and abandonment in the Sahara Desert before returning to Malta….  In their constitutional application the men claimed that their right to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment had been violated by the fact that they had been forcibly repatriated to a country which was known to practise torture. They further claimed that their fundamental human right to an effective remedy had been violated as Malta had not allowed them to apply for asylum. Mr Justice Pace pointed out that in terms of law, an immigrant had to be informed of his right to seek asylum in Malta in a language he understood. This had not been done in this case….”

Thanks to Dr Neil Fazon (Aditus.org.mt) for pointing this out and for providing a copy of the Court’s decision.

Click here for article.

Click on this link Abdul Hakim et vs MJHA et for decision (Maltese).

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Filed under Judicial, Libya, Malta, Mediterranean, News

UNHCR: 16 Drowning Deaths in Gulf of Aden

UNHCR reports on the most recent known deaths in the Gulf of Aden over the past week.  The victims were mostly Somalis attempting to reach Yemen.  In one incident involving a sinking of a boat at least 15 are known to have died.  “The survivors say that during the voyage they saw a cargo vessel and foreign naval ship. They say that the naval ship approached their boat but ignored their cries for help. This is disturbing. UNHCR appeals to all shipmasters in the Gulf of Aden to uphold the longstanding tradition of rescue at sea and helping vessels in distress.”

“UNHCR is alarmed by a growing number of deaths in the Gulf of Aden this year. Eighty-nine people are known to have drowned in January and February alone – compared to 15 only during the whole of 2010. We also note with the great concern the resurgence of violence and inhumane treatment by smugglers of the refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants that they are transporting. The deadly record for the first three months is a stark manifestation of this trend.  More than 6,500 Somalis and 18,800 Ethiopians have arrived in Yemen by boat so far this year.”

Click here for UNHCR statement.

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Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen