Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Despite conflict, almost 70,000 people flee to Yemen in 2015 (UN)

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that despite the ongoing conflict in Yemen, nearly 70,000 refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants -- primarily from Ethiopia and Somalia -- have arrived by boat in Yemen so far this year.

"More than half of these arrivals have been since the conflict erupted in March," said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric at Tuesday's briefing, citing the UNHCR.

The UNHCR and its partners provide shelter, food and medical care in the Mayfa'a reception centre for those arriving on the Arabian Sea coast, he said.

However, "for those arriving along the Red Sea coast, reception facilities have been suspended after an attack destroyed a village hosting new arrivals in Bab el Mandab," he said.

The spokesman also noted that Yemen itself is seeing a continue rise in the number of people who are displaced internally.

On Oct. 15, a displacement-tracking mechanism run by the International Organization for Migration and UNHCR published new data showing that the number of internally displaced people has reached a record-high of 2.3 million, up from more than half a million individuals in mid-May, he said.

Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition trying to stanch rebellion by Houthis, an insurgent group from northwestern Yemen that has managed to take over large parts of the country.

Stressing that a political solution is key to resolving the Yemeni crisis, the United Nations Special Envoy for the country, Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed, on Monday announced that preparations have begun for talks between the conflict parties.

  Xinhua -

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