Sealed from the sea and Somalia [Archives:2007/1016/Local News]

January 15 2007

Amel Al- Ariqi
SANA'A, Jan, 14 ) The Yemeni government closed its sea border in an effort to discourage armed human traffickers from bringing illegal immigrants to Yemen.

An unnamed a high-ranking navy official said several contingents of Yemeni navy forces were deployed to the Red Sea to tighten the security, according to 26 September. He said many armed human traffickers are bringing hundreds of illegal migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia to Yemen.

This week saw 90 Somalis buried in mass graves in Bir Ali area of Shabwa governorate. The bodies went missing at sea on their way to Yemen and were later found floating off the coast of Yemen.

There are still 50 Somali refugees missing at sea. The head of the Somali community in Yemen, Muhammad 'Ali Hersi, called for greater efforts to find the missing Somalis.

“It is really a terrible mishap and we feel very sorry for those who died and those who are still missing,” he said.

The survivors were in bad condition and not all of them had been sent to the refugee reception center at Mayfaa, in southern Yemen, said Hersi.

“There are still some survivors in Bir Ali, left without shelter and anyone to care for them. Among them are four children, who lost their parents during the December incident,” pleaded Hersi.

Refugee agencies warned that the recent conflict in Somalia between Islamists and the Transitional Federal Government