Tag Archives: Yemen

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.

2 Comments

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 “

5 Comments

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.

Leave a comment

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.

4 Comments

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

Amnesty International Report: Year of Rebellion – The State of Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa

Amnesty International this morning released a report entitled “Year of Rebellion – The State of Human Rights in the Middle East and North Africa” focusing on the events of 2011 in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, and Iraq.  Additional chapters in the Report address the “International response”, the “Failure to put human rights first”, “Protection of displaced people”, and “Arms transfers”, among other topics.

Excerpts:

“This report describes the events of this historic, tumultuous year, one which saw so much suffering and sadness but also spread so much hope within the region and beyond, to countries where other people face repression and everyday abuse of their human rights. Amnesty International too was challenged, as never before, to respond to the events by documenting the violations that were committed and, most of all, by mobilizing its members and supporters to extraordinary lengths in support and solidarity with the people in the streets of Cairo, Benghazi, Sana’a, Manama, Dera’a and elsewhere who were truly “in the frontline” in demanding reform, accountability and real guarantees for human rights. This report is dedicated to them, their suffering and their momentous achievements.”

“Protection of Displaced People- … Many of those who fled Libya sought safety in neighbouring countries, mainly in Egypt and Tunisia. However, around 5,000 sub-Saharan refugees and asylum-seekers remain stranded in desert camps in Tunisia and makeshift tents in Saloum, a remote border point in Egypt. When Amnesty International visited the camps in June and July, poor conditions and insecurity prevailed, making life extremely challenging for those living there. Unlike the thousands of migrants who were repatriated during the initial stages of the conflict, these people cannot return to their home countries because they would then be at risk of persecution. Nor can they remain in Egypt and Tunisia, which have been unwilling to offer long-term solutions to refugees. Returning to Libya is also not an option, despite the fall of the al-Gaddafi regime, as Libya cannot currently offer a safe haven for refugees. The only solution is for other countries where they would be safe to resettle them. How many are resettled and how quickly this happens depends on the speed and extent with which the international community fulfils its responsibility to them. So far, the international community’s response has been miserably poor, with European countries offering fewer than 800 resettlement places between them in response to a refugee crisis unfolding on Europe’s doorstep. Many of those who fled Libya attempted the dangerous sea-crossing to Europe, often in overcrowded and barely sea-worthy boats. Among them were people who initially fled from Libya to Tunisia, but then crossed back into Libya frustrated at the lack of durable solutions for refugees in the camps. At least 1,500 men, women and children are estimated to have drowned while attempting this journey. The true total was probably far higher. Governments and institutions failed to put in place effective mechanisms to prevent such deaths at sea, including by increasing search and rescue operations, and by ensuring that rescue operations comply fully with human rights and refugee law….”

Click here for Report.

Click here for AI Press Release.

2 Comments

Filed under Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mediterranean, Morocco, Reports, Tunisia, Yemen

Close to 200 Reported Dead in Red Sea Migrant Boat Sinking

The Sudanese Media Centre reported on Tuesday that a boat carrying migrants from Sudan to Saudi Arabia caught fire and capsized near Atibia, Sudan.  The report said the boat was carrying Somalis, Eritreans, Ethiopians, and Sudanese.  197 persons were reportedly killed and three rescued.  Al Jazeera reported that the accident may have occurred this past Saturday.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Yemen

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.

Leave a comment

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

Yemen to End Prima Facie Refugee Status for Somalis

Yemen announced a plan to end its policy of granting prima facie refugee status to Somali nationals.  If the change is approved by the Council of Ministers, arriving Somalis would be required to make individual requests for refugee status.  The Yemen Observer reported that “[a]ccording to Essam al-Mahbashi, member of the National Committee for Refugee Affairs (NACRA), not all Somalis are fleeing conflict as many of them come from safe regions such as the port of Bosasso in the Puntland region of northern Somalia in search of better economic opportunities. Al-Mahbashi said that the emergence of extremist groups in Somalia like al-Shabab al-Mujahideen is one of the reasons why Yemen wants to cancel the prima facie refugee status policy.”  “Patrick Duplat of NGO Refugees International (RI) told IRIN that RI encouraged countries, including Yemen, to offer Somalis the broadest protection mechanisms possible given the current situation in their homeland. However, he said Yemen’s new policy would be in line with newly issued UNHCR guidelines on Somalis that allow for such screening but call for those Somalis not granted refugee status to be afforded ‘complementary forms of international protection.’”

Click here for article.

1 Comment

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

INTERSOS Update on Mixed Migration in the Gulf of Aden

INTERSOS has released a short report on the movement of migrants from the Horn of African to Yemen during the first half of 2010.  The report notes a more than 50% reduction in the number of Somalis arriving in Yemen compared with the same period in 2009.  The number of non-Somalis (mostly Ethiopians) arriving in Yemen has remained the same compared to the same period last year.  The report observes that increased efforts by Puntland authorities to halt traffickers and the increased turmoil within Somalia making movement within the country difficult may partially explain the reduced numbers.  The report notes that a reduction in the outward migration flow of Somalis into Kenya has also occurred, though there has been in increase in the numbers of Somalis entering Ethiopia.

Click here for the Report.

Leave a comment

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

UNHCR Reports 50% Reduction in African Migrant Flow to Yemen

UNHCR reports a significant decline in the numbers of migrants travelling by sea from the Horn of Africa to Yemen.  UNHCR said that “violence within Somalia could be preventing many would-be migrants from reaching their port of departure.  An estimated 9,400 people from across the Horn of Africa have reached the shores of Yemen since the beginning of this year, compared to nearly 17,000 between January and March 2009….”

Click here for UNHCR statement.

Leave a comment

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

Yemen: We have a moral obligation to accept refugees

The Los Angeles Times has a new article on the refugee situation in Yemen.

“… The poorest country in the Arab world, Yemen can barely accommodate its own, much less the dispossessed from other lands. ‘Right now, we are torn,’ said Ali Muthana Hassan, Yemen’s deputy foreign minister. ‘We have many problems of our own in Yemen — we have war, Al Qaeda, our own citizens do not have jobs. But we have a moral obligation to accept them. And right now, we don’t have a choice. Next year, more will come. Many more will come.’”

Click here for Los Angeles Times article.

Leave a comment

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

L’exode vers le Yémen : un entretien avec le HCR, le PAM et l’OIM

Grotius.fr : “Au Yémen, l’année 2009 a été marquée par un record des flux migratoires en  provenance de la corne africaine : plus de 77.000 entrées sur le territoire, des Somaliens, mais un nombre d’Ethiopiens en forte augmentation. [***]

Et les migrants non somaliens devraient avoir beaucoup de difficultés à légaliser leur situation.  Les trois principales agences en charge de la question des migrants au Yémen, le PAM, le HCR et l’OIM, ont accepté d’aborder pour Grotius.fr ce dossier «brûlant».  Entretien réalisé à Sanaa par François-Xavier Trégan avec Gian Carlo Cirri, Directeur du Programme Alimentaire Mondial au Yémen, Samer Haddadin, Senior Protection Officer, Haut Commissariat pour les  Réfugiés au Yémen et Stefano Tamagnini, Directeur de l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations au Yémen.”

Cliquez ici pour l’article complet.

Leave a comment

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

EU-Funded IOM Project in Yemen

Saba, the Yemen News Agency reported that an 18 month € 2 million EU-funded project implemented by IOM will begin this month.

“The IOM-suggested project has been designed in response to humanitarian and security challenges caused by migration into Yemen, mainly through the Gulf of Aden, directly linked to organized crime, trading in human and instability in the region and Yemen, [project manager Fawzi al-Zayood] said. The [project] outcomes are expected to include a framework for legislation and policies for migration management, training about 800 employees working at the migration authority and Border Guard and establishing a fund to provide services for trafficking-victimized migrants under the supervision of the IOM.”

Click here for article.

2 Comments

Filed under European Union, Gulf of Aden, News, Yemen

Puntland Authorities Detain Migrants

The Somaliweyn Website reported that Puntland authorities have arrested over 100 intending migrants:

“‘The exact number of the people whom we have arrested is 110, and they are from different nations in Africa, but the leading numbers of the people are from our immediate neighbour Ethiopia, the entire of these people were intending to cross the wide waters between Yemen and Puntland state, and just before they have accomplished their dreams they were apprehended by our security personnel’ said Musse Ahmed Abdurahman the police commissioner of Puntland state speaking to Somaliweyn Website via the wire. The Police commissioner has also added that lately the number of the persons intending to illegally cross the water between Yemen and Puntland has been rapidly mounting….”

IRIN reported: “‘We have begun to force would-be migrants back to their homes for their own safety. I would rather have them back in their homelands than dying at sea,’ said Muse Ghelle Yusuf, governor of Puntland’s Bari region. He said thousands of Ethiopians and Somalis are currently in Bosasso, the commercial capital of Puntland, intending to cross into Yemen.
‘Our estimate is that as of today [29 December 2009] there are 4,000-5,000 migrants in and around Bosasso,’ Yusuf said, noting that 1,000-1,700 have been arriving in the area daily.”

Click here, here, and here for articles.

Leave a comment

Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, Yemen

France24 Video Podcast: “Yemen, the new Eldorado?”

Video Report by France24 reporters Cyril VANIER and Karim HAKKI.

“We’re standing on a beach in southern Yemen, early one November morning. On the opposite side of the Gulf of Aden lies the Horn of Africa, one of the most troubled regions on earth, racked by civil war and poverty. Those who can pay for their way out, make their way to Yemen. Seventy dollars buys them a spot on the next boat out. Many are beaten on the way, sometimes women are raped, and all too often – passengers drown. Those who reach Yemen will have to start a new life from scratch. The sea is calm this morning, it is high season for illegal boats crossing into Yemen. Last night, we heard a motor boat travelling parallel to the beach. There was no light, no noise on board except for the engine: probably a smuggler using the cover of night to carry his human cargo….”

Click here for link to podcast.

Leave a comment

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