UNHCR: Nearly 5,000 Somali refugees in Yemen returned to Somalia since 2017
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Sunday said that 4,940 Somali refugees have left Yemen and returned to Somalia since 2017.
UNHCR indicated, in a press release, that 131 Somali refugees have been evacuated from Yemen to Somalia as part of the “voluntary return” program for Somali refugees wishing to return to their homes.
“The last boat left the port of Aden on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 towards Somalia, carrying 131 Somali refugees,” UNHCR said.
UNHCR added that it succeeded in registering 90 other Somali refugees wishing to return to their homes in its offices in al-Basateen, Kharaz and Mukalla areas.
Yemen has a large population of African descent, and has often been a haven for refugees and immigrants from East African countries such as Somalia and Ethiopia.
The recent conflict and Saudi targeting of refugee camps however, has made the situation for the refugees in Yemen extremely dire.
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.