May 28, 2015
Since the outbreak of the conflict in Yemen, Puntland has received thousands of refugees and returnees from Yemen. With the limited available resource and the support of the people of Puntland the Government has received over 10,000 refugees and returnees from Yemen at Bossaso port. More and more refugees and returnees fleeing war and violence are now using the red sea to reach safety, resulting in an unprecedented number of refugees and returning arriving in Puntland, many of which are vulnerable groups such as women and children.
There has been approximately an average of 800 refugees entering Puntland from Yemen, reaching a high mark yesterday with the arrival of 2000 refugees and returnees in one day. Majority of the refugees are Somalis, other nationalities include people from Yemen, Ethiopia and Sub Saharan Africa. Closure of external land borders and airports in Yemen leave no choice to refugees and returnees but to use the sea as their main route to safety in Puntland.
The Government of Puntland with limited resources is currently providing reception, and essential relief items to refugees and returnees. However, the Government is not able to singlehandedly cope with the scale and scope of this ensuing humanitarian crisis. The Government therefore appeals urgently to the international community and humanitarian agencies working in Somalia to provide urgent and immediate humanitarian support to the thousands of civilians fleeing the conflict in Yemen and arriving in Puntland.
“We have issued appeals and received expressions of appreciation and gratitude from the international community and humanitarian agencies as we work hard to provide a safe haven for the refugees and returnees from Yemen. It is now time for the international community to step forward, urgently, and provide the refugees and returnees with humanitarian assistance and repatriation support, as we simple cannot shoulder it alone any longer” said President Abdiweli as he visited reception centers in Bossaso.