UNHCR urges international community to cooperate with Yemen [Archives:2006/910/Local News]

January 9 2006

SANAA, Jan.7- Abdulmalik Abboud, Foreign Relations Officer at the UN Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirmed in a statement to the media that the Republic Yemen could not alone afford the burdens of refugees on its territory.

He appealed to the international community to stand by Yemen and help it in the provision of additional resources and means of good support to enable it do its humane duty for the refugees in a better way.

In an interview with Al-Wahdah weekly, Abboud said, “I highly appreciate the humane role played by the Yemeni government and the support it offers for refugees despite the facilities shortage and economic difficulties it faces.”

He pointed out that the figure 78786 is the latest score of refugees and refuge seekers from the Horn of Africa until last October.

Reaching an agreement with the Yemeni government, the UNHCR carries out a statistical program to identify the number of refugees in Yemen through renewing their ID cards and inaugurating six permanent centers for refugees' registration in cooperation with the Yemeni Interior Ministry.

These centers started work in the mid of last December in the governorates of Sana'a, Aden, Taiz, Hadramout and Shabwah to help the government know the real number of refugees in Yemen.

According to Abboud, 12-14 is the annual average border points in Yemen's coastline across which refugees from the Horn of Africa infiltrate into Yemeni territories.

Concerning the reasons behind the latest protest staged by refugees, leaving many Somalis killed or injured, the UNHCR Foreign Relations Officer revealed that protestors listed many demands to be met, among them the right to naturalization.

He confirmed the UNHCR could not suggest a solution to those issues and the Yemeni government is the concerned party responsible for tackling them.