ESAT News (November 29, 2016)
The UN refugee agency said close to 90,000 Ethiopians crossed the Gulf of Aden this year and reached war torn Yemen.
Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, William Spindler said at the headquarters in Geneva on Tuesday that 88,667 Ethiopians risked their lives on the high seas to reach Yemen.
“Most people came from Ethiopia and Somalia: 88,667 and 17,293 respectively. Most migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Ethiopia and Somalia embark from the coastal towns of Obock in Djibouti and Bossaso in Puntland, Somalia and cross the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden to Yemen,” Spindler said at a press briefing.
A total 105,971 people have made the journey as of mid-November, mainly across the Gulf of Aden, according to latest figures from UNHCR and partners.
UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies have been warning against the perilous Horn of Africa crossings which see people undergo risky journeys only to face conflict, abuse and exploitation on arrival. “UNHCR has received reports of physical and sexual abuse, deprivation of food and water, abduction, extortion, torture and forced labour by smugglers and criminal networks as well as arbitrary arrest, detention and deportation,” according to Spindler.
Twenty months into the conflict, the situation in Yemen remains highly precarious, with new arrivals and locals alike facing risks of hardship, danger and death. The conflict has resulted in mass displacement of more than 3.1 million individuals, 2.1 million of whom still remain displaced.
The UN revealed that More than 2,500 refugees and migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe till May, 2016.