Somaliland: Boatload of People Fleeing Yemen Land in Berbera


Most of the arrivals were women and children

By: Yusuf M Hasan
BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – Over 140 people fleeing the war in Yemen have arrived in Berbera the main port of Somaliland.
This batch which is the second to arrive in the country since a Saudi led coalition started attacking Houthi rebels is composed of Local citizens and Somalis resident in Yemen and a sprinkling of Yemeni families.
Landing at eight PM the new group Yemeni conflict fleeing people was composed of a large group of women and children plus a few young and elderly men.
To receive the arrivals was a large high profiled team that included officers from the Somaliland ministry of Resettlement and Rural Rehabilitation- MR&RR, port officials, Sahil regional and Berbera local council authorities as well as representatives of UNHCR and the Somaliland Red Crescent Society-SRCS.

Reception staff registering the Yemeni arrivals at the port of Berbera Somaliland
Without discriminating the conflict fleeing people be they from Somaliland, Somalia or Yemen the reception committee which pledge continued support settled them in pre-designated centres pending permanent arrangements.
As the conflict in Yemen escalates the UNHCR reports that three countries in the Gulf of Aden namely Djibouti , Somaliland and Somalia have in the past two weeks received over 1200 people arriving by boat from Yemen.
All those arriving in Djibouti were Yemeni nationals, aside from three Syrians. The latest new arrivals have fled the intense violence in Aden, whereas earlier waves came mostly from Bab el-Mandeb.
In Djibouti, refugees are registered and receive medical checks and vaccinations before being transferred to a new camp under construction at Markazi, which has 70 tents in place so far.
A total of 915 people, including 156 Yemenis, have arrived across the Gulf of Aden, in Somaliland and Puntland. Recent arrivals to Bosaso port in Puntland have departed from Al Mukalla port in Yemen, and included women and children who arrived extremely thirsty and asking for water.

The new Somaliland arrivals join the first batch at the designated centre in Berberat
Recent arrivals to Berbera port in Somaliland left Mukha port in Yemen, with other ports closed. The refugees said they paid US$50 per person and that many more people were waiting to depart.
Last Sunday, 251 people (mainly Ethiopians, but also Somalis) arrived at Mayfa’a. UNHCR, partners and line ministry staff in the host countries are registering the new arrivals.

Inside Yemen, the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as conflict spreads. Eighteen out of 22 governorates are now affected by conflict. “Many of the 250,000 mainly Somali refugees in Yemen are also affected by the conflict and we continue to see an increase in people moving from urban areas around Aden to the Kharaz refugee camp, hosting 18,000 people,” a spokesperson said.

The Djibouti coastguard escorts boats carrying refugees from Yemen into the port of Obock. UNHCR photo
Meanwhile Alarmed at the military escalation by Houthis in many parts of Yemen and the “significant and rapidly deteriorating’ humanitarian situation, the United Nations Security Council on 14 April 2015 approved an arms embargo against the rebel group’s leadership and demanded that all parties refrain from unilateral actions that could undermine the country’s UN-facilitated political transition.
Watch the Arrivals and their reception in Berbera