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.
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.
From the Times of Malta (sources: Home Affairs Ministry and parliamentary replies) and as noted on EASO Monitor:
Nationalities of migrants who arrived last week
- Somalia – 411
- Eritrea – 250
- Ethiopia – 87
- Ivory Coast – 26
- Mali – 16
- Pakistan – 14
- Sudan – 6
- Nigeria – 6
- Yemen – 2
- Mauritania – 1
Migrants in Malta before Libya crisis
- Held in detention: 79
- Living in open centres: 2,224
- Living in the community: 1,400
Migrant arrivals in previous years
- 2007: 1,702
- 2008: 2,775
- 2009: 1,397
- 2010: 27
Click here for article.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The UNHCR released its most recent estimates of the numbers of Africans who have crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to Yemen in 2009. UNHCR believes over 74,000 people made the crossing which is estimated to be a 50% increase over last year.
Ethiopians (42,000) now make up the largest group of migrants making the crossing. In previous years Somalis were the largest group.
“According to the latest UNHCR statistics, at least 309 people drowned or did not survive the trip this year. In 2008, some 590 people died during the crossing. Many more people went missing and are presumed dead. The mixed migration route through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea is presently the busiest and the deadliest one in the world.”
“While virtually all arriving Somalis approach the two, strategically positioned reception centres in Mayfaa and Ahwar, where they receive protection and assistance, only some 9,000 Ethiopians went to these venues this year. Most press on towards the Persian Gulf states in search of job opportunities.”
Click here for UNHCR press release.