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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More Somalis fleeing to Yemen as violence in Somalia increases


Not too surprising story here:
The number of Somalis who are getting out by sea to Yemen increased in last few days because of the current bloody warfare in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
Official Yemeni sources said the armed conflicts between Islamists and Somali warlords, particularly in Mogadishu, pushed so many Somalis to flee to Yemen where authorities easily give them the suitable refuge since they get to Yemeni lands.
But sources said that the death toll at sea during trips from Somalia to Yemen through the Gulf of Aden is getting higher. They said the running off Somalis use poor and grossly overloaded boats belong to human traffickers so the number of deaths by sinking in sea waters noticeable increased in last few days.
About 1,000 people have died since September, trying to make the trek from Somalia's northern coast across the sea to Yemen. And that is just an estimate, since nobody really knows how many boats, all of them grossly overloaded, attempt the trek from the shores of the remote Puntland region in northeastern Somalia.
Security source in Shabwa said 113 Somalis, 74 women and 12 children, legally arrived to Yemeni coasts few days ago and that security procedures are being taken in coordination with the Yemeni Coast Guards to tighten security along the Yemeni coast to prevent illegal entries through Shabwa coasts.
The source said that 150 Somalis, including women and children, died in the last few months when the poor boats sank in water. It said that the Shabwa prosecution is investigating a group of pirates, two Yemenis and six Somalis, over smuggling Somalis to Yemen.


UPDATE: Hospital seized by gunmen.

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