The past 10 months have seen the highest number of Africans reaching Yemeni shores compared to figures for the same period in 2008 and 2007, when large numbers began travelling to Yemen by boat, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). More than 56,600 people have arrived on 1,100 boats to Yemen from Somalia and elsewhere the Horn of Africa so far this year, already exceeding the total for all 2008, when 50,091 people crossed, said UNHCR representative Rocco Nuri.
“This is a stunning 40% increase in comparison with the same 10-month period last year when 40,540 boat-carried people arrived. [This year], 281 people drowned and another 152 have been missing and presumed dead after their boats capsized in the Gulf of Aden,” Nuri said.
Santiago Perez, country representative fo the non-governmental Danish Refugee Council (DRC), said there were several factors causing this growing influx of Africans to Yemen. “We’re detecting an increasing number of displaced people who say they are coming to Yemen fleeing climate disasters like drought, untimely and torrential rains, as well as conflict and poverty,” he said. (IRIN, Nov. 1)