Local News

Open Letter from the Somali Community in Yemen

Yusuf D. Hasan

Deputy Chairman

Somali Refugee Committee

Sanaa, Yemen

The Somali community in Yemen is appalled and saddened by recent reports falsely claiming that refugees are being recruited by the government as mercenaries.  In addition to categorically denying such claims, the Somali community reaffirms its apolitical role within Yemen and pledges to stay neutral and not support any side amidst the ongoing crisis.

The  Somali community would also like to highlight the fact that Somali refugees in Yemen are facing a tenuous sitution due to the current unrest – like so many other people. In addition to being negatively affected by the restriction of movement which jeopardizes the livelihood of so many refugees who rely on daily wages,  the Somali community is also worried about an escalation in violence and being caught in the middle of it.  During the civil war in 1994, a number of Somalis lost their lives or were injured as a result of being caught between cross-fires of the two opposing sides; it is our hope that past incidents are not repeated.

We would like to express our continued gratitude to Yemen for generously welcoming us by granting ‘prima facie’ refugee status to all Somali nationals.  Finally, we would like to extend our sincere sympathy to all the lives that have been lost during recent months and hope for a peacful resolution to the current crisis.