Yemenis pitch camp in Mogadishu as government pledges to settle them

For the past two decades Somalia has been the biggest refugee producing and exporting country in the world, but things seem to be getting better and Somalia is becoming host country for refugees.

The country  is likely to have the first refugee camp as government grapples with the surge of refugees from Yemen following the ongoing conflict in that country. Since the flare up of war and the airstrikes by Saudi led coalition, thousands of Yemeni citizens have been fleeing from their home and started arriving in Somalia.

Goobjoog News has been closely following the issue of Yemeni refugees arriving in Somalia and on Monday our news team visited the Yemeni embassy in Mogadishu.

We spoke to the ambassador Fuad Mohamed Al-Marzuk about the situation of Yemeni refugees housed inside the embassy walls.

“We have over 200 refugee families inside the embassy who fled from Yemen following the ongoing conflict. We have more than a thousand others in Puntland and Somaliland, all of whom have received help from Somali government and aid organizations. I can tell you that all is fine with them” said the ambassadors.

He said that they have an appointment with the Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid whom they submitted a formal request to allocate land to establish a refugee camp for the increasing number of Yemeni refugees arriving in Somalia as the embassy premises would not be able to accommodate.

Yemeni refugees inside the embassy who pitched tents inside the compound Goobjoog News that they receive food aid but not on regular basis. We could also see a kitchen where food is served for the refugees but we were told that some families opted to cook food themselves.

Before we enter the embassy we passed a group of people camping outside who said they have been denied access to embassy. “Those people are Somali nationals who were in Yemen as refugees, now they returned to their home country and they want to be considered as Yemenis so as to get help and that is not possible and we cannot afford” said the ambassidour.

Halimo Abdi is one of the Yemeni refugees who housed in tents inside the embassy. She told Goobjoog News about her living conditions there “ I and my children  live here and in that tent is the grandfather of my children who is old and sick. I can tell you that we are fine here despite the lack of education for my children,” said Halimo.

In another tent we passed by a woman doing laundry for her five children. She told us that when it rains, the tent doesn’t protect them. “We need good shelter,” she said, refusing to mention her name.

When we closely examined we established the main needs for the Yemeni refugees range from food ration, medical treatment to education.

Food rations, medical help and education is the major concern for all refugees in the camp.

Among the places where Yemeni refugees are camped is Qardho , Puntland where some 400 refugees are housed in the East Africa University campus.  Sheikh Abdikadir Yasin, the person in charge of the camp says 40% of these are children, 6 of which are unaccompanied.

He said that the first priority need is shelter as the university would soon reopen and the refugees would have to vacate.

“It’s true that the university will reopen on 1st of September, 2015 so it is very important for the refugees to get a new place and the government should allocate it,“ said Sheikh Abdirisak.

On 18th of July Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid visited the university to see the refugees first hand. He promised that his government would allocate land to for a camp. “I wanted to visit you and get first hand information of your situation and I promise to do something about your needs. I have instructed The National Refugee Commission to take up your matters,” said the PM.

Sheik Noor Barud Gurhan the chairman of Somali Refugee Rescue Committee who has been helping Somali citizens to evacuate from Yemen, is calling on the government to register Yemenis as refugees and make plans to resettle them.

Abdinasir Bashir Ahmed

Goobjoog News

 

IMG_6201 IMG_6199 IMG_6198 IMG_6197 IMG_6196 IMG_6195 IMG_6194 IMG_6193 IMG_6192 IMG_6191 IMG_6189 IMG_6188 IMG_6187 IMG_6186 IMG_6185 IMG_6184 IMG_6182 IMG_6181 IMG_6179 IMG_6178 IMG_6177 IMG_6167 IMG_6166 IMG_6164 IMG_6163 IMG_6162 IMG_6161 IMG_6160 IMG_6159 IMG_6158 IMG_6157 IMG_6156 IMG_6155 IMG_6154 IMG_6153 IMG_6152 IMG_6151 IMG_6150 IMG_6149 IMG_6148 IMG_6146 IMG_6145 IMG_6144 IMG_6119 IMG_6118 IMG_6102 IMG_6101 IMG_6100 IMG_6099 IMG_6094 IMG_6093 IMG_6091 IMG_6090 IMG_6089 IMG_6064 IMG_6063 IMG_6062 IMG_6050 IMG_6049 IMG_6048 IMG_6046

 

 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Close