Political Analysis

Horn of Africa receives over 14,000 people fleeing Yemen

More people are fleeing to the Horn of Africa as the conflict in Yemen escalates. So far a total of 14,529 arrivals have been registered. Of these 9,703 have arrived in Djibouti and 4,826 in Somalia.

In the first week of May, Somalia received 1,038 people, 969 of them Somalis, who arrived at the ports of Bossaso and Berbera. Puntland has registered 3,276 arrivals since March – the start of the crisis in Yemen – and in Somaliland the number has reached 1,550.

In Puntland, IOM has provided onward transportation assistance to 118 individuals. A further 110 migrants are undergoing verification at a transit centre and are expected to travel in the coming days. Another 541 returnees are currently in the transit centre in Bossaso waiting for transportation assistance, but IOM and its humanitarian partners say they are running out of funds to provide assistance.

“We have reached the capacity of the transit centre and will not be able to admit new arrivals unless measures are taken to urgently support those currently waiting for help to return to their areas of origin,” says IOM Somalia Operations Officer Abdikadir Abdow.

The majority of arrivals in Somalia are Somali returnees who had sought refuge in Yemen because of the conflict in Somalia, but are now in threat of being displaced once more.

Ali lived in Sana’a for two years. Before he left Somalia he was internally displaced in Bossaso.

“Two years ago I travelled to Yemen from this very same port,” says Ali who is originally from the south of Somalia. “Now I want to remain in Bossaso to join my relatives who are still living here in camps for internally displaced people (IDPs).”

Like Ali, many other Somalis fleeing Yemen have already gone to live in the Bossaso IDP settlements, according to the local authorities.

In Djibouti, IOM, working with immigration authorities and Ethiopian consular officials, has provided transport to help 231 stranded Ethiopians to return home.

In the Djibouti and Somalia, IOM teams are working with humanitarian partners to provide stranded migrants with emergency aid including medical care, food, accommodation, water and sanitation services and onward transportation assistance to areas of origin.