More Yemenis cross over to Somalia as fighting persists
HARGEISA, Somalia - Somalia is becoming an unlikely home for hundreds of Yemenis who are fleeing war, despite a myriad of challenges including but not limited to the current Al-Shabaab menace, which has left thousands of people dead.
On Sunday, about 200 refugees from the Middle East nation crossed over to Somaliland and Puntland, where they will be staying for a couple of years. Fighting is escalating at the Arabian Peninsula, with hundreds dying according to the United Nations.
With millions now displaced, about 177 Yemeni refugees arrived in Bossaso, the commercial capital of Puntland which has direct control from Mogadishu. Puntland is one of the safest states in the Horn of Africa nation.
Further, amid tension in the country after the killing of at least 30 pro-government soldiers on an airbase in Southern Yemen with 60 wounded and many others critically injured. Yemen has been unstable for a decade following Arab Spring.
Quite a number moved to Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia, which declared self-independence in 1991. Somalia does not restrict people from using visas due to the existing relationship between Mogadishu and Arab nations.
Yemeni Southern forces spokesman said that al-Anad airbase, the largest in the country, was attacked with ballistic missiles and armed drones by Houthi rebels who had also attacked the base in the past.
The years of brutal civil war in Yemen have forced millions of people to leave their homes and flee to neighboring Somalia which is in itself facing instability and decades of terror. Thousands have also died.
And since the start of the conflict, UN reports put the number of deaths at 130,000 with 12 million relying on food aid and half of the children under five at risk of starvation. The UN has consistently called for a ceasefire.
Yemen has been shattered by a conflict that spiraled out of control in 2015 when the Houthis seized control of large parts of the country and a Saudi-led coalition launched an operation to restore President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s rule.
Somalia is one of the country's that has also suffered internal conflicts for many years now. There are thousands of Somalis living in Western countries with hundreds of others now struggling in Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps in Kenya.