Source : Yemen’s official news agency (Saba),18/07/2010
SANA'A-The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said that Yemen is facing escalating challenges as a result of nonstop influx of Somali refugees to its coasts.
A report issued recently by the UNHCR office in Yemen said that about 90 boats have arrived in Yemeni coasts coming from Horn of Africa during last April 2010 carrying 4,213 refugees, including 80 children, according to the GPC ruling party website.
African refugee arrivals were distributed to 1,249 Somali refugees, about 695 Somalis arrived via Arabian Sea and 614 across the Red Sea, and 2,964 people from other African nationalities, the source reported.
The UNHCR revealed that the 80 Somali children have left their parents in their home and fled to Yemen to evade from the forced recruitment by the armed groups in Somalia.
Deteriorating the security situation in Somalia makes thousands of Somalis are ready to risk their lives on a perilous journey via Gulf of Aden to be smuggled into Yemen.
Yemen is considered to be a gateway for Somalis to the Middle East. It recognizes all Somalis as refugees on a "prima facie basis," meaning they are automatically granted the right to stay. But many of those who cross the Gulf of Aden move on to Yemen's neighbors Saudi Arabia and Oman in pursuit of jobs.
The escalating numbers of refugees place increasing strain on Yemen's limited resources and pose more challenges to the government's efforts to balance its obligations under international law with the need to protect the country from illegal entry.