Yemen closes boarders in the face of African refugees.
Posted in: Front Page Written By: Abdulaziz Oudah
Article Date: Oct 20, 2008
Yemeni security forces have closed the boarder crossings under the direction of Rashad Al-Masri, Minister of Interior in the face of the growing number of refugees the Yemeni coast has recently witnessed from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia.
Al-Masri ordered the military units in the areas hardest hit by the influx to block refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea, renewing his call for the international community to stand up to their commitments and support Yemen in receiving and hosting these refugees from the Horn of Africa.
Al-Masri expressed concern over the increasing number of the African Horn refugees which has increased to 200 - 300 a day, since last September. The ministry's information center quotes al-Masri as saying that the ministry is extremely concerned over the influx which is not only restricted to Somalia, stating that there about 140 refugees from Ethiopia and Eritrea who recently landed at Dhibab and Ras al-A'ra in bab-Mindab.
The ministry of Interior's statistics revealed that the Yemeni coast received 2214 Somali refugees during the period from the first to mid October.
The interior ministry is worried over the social, economic, cultural and security challenges that Yemen is now facing due to the continuing African refugee influx.
The Sana'a UNHCR's reports states that the smuggling process has resulted in hundreds and possibly a thousand deaths due to the unsafe human piracy practiced in the Red sea.
Ambassador Al-Aishi asked the international community and the refugee agreement parties to undertake their responsibilities pertaining to this humanitarian situation. He called on the international community and particularly relevant neighboring states to share Yemen’s burden and accept some of the refugees and asked for NGOs to cooperate with the UNCHR commissioner to take new measures to prevent any country or countries from becoming a permanent haven for refugees as is now the case in Yemen.