80,000 Somali refugees now in Yemen [Archives:2006/1006/Local News]

December 11 2006

SANA'A, Dec. 9 ) The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said 826 African refugees, including 633 Somalis and 193 Ethiopians, died in the open sea while they were trying to reach Yemeni lands.

This year at UNHCR in Maifa, Shabwa Governorate, there are over 11,000 Somali refugees and just under 1,000 Ethiopians bringing the total number to nearly 80,000, according to Al-Wahdah Newspaper.

Over the last two months, there has been an increase on group migration of Africans to Yemen.

Security sources said 2,100 illegal residents were arrested last November, including 500 women and 81 children. Over 2,000 of those arrested were picked up in Shabwa and among the arrested there were 1,760 Somalis, 335 Ethiopians and 5 of other Arab nationalities.

The commissioner's office said more than 22,000 people crossed the Gulf of Aden onboard smuggler's boats from Somalia over the last few months.

“More than 355 infiltrators died during their hazardous journeys and over 150 people are still missing