13/05/08 (B447-B) Djibouti remplace Bossasso pour les candidats à l’émigration vers le Yémen, plus sur, mais plus cher ? KHARAZ – Thousands of Somali refugees have been arriving to Yemen through Djibouti recently, said Ramadhan Abbas Ibrahim 34, from Mugadishu who arrived a long with 120 other people on a boat to Thubab in southwest Yemen on May 10. (En Anglais -Info lecteur)

“It is safer to immigrate to Yemen through Djibouti, but more expensive,” said Ibrahim.

Ibrahim and scores of new arrivals are being hosted in the Kharaz refugees camp run by the UNHCR, which granted them food, clothes, blankets, kitchen sets and a tent for every five new Somali survivors.

He said that the security cause was the main motive that pushed him and thousands of Somali citizens to make their way to Yemen. “The average income of any worker in Somalia is at least $100 per month, which is enough for living, but it is insecure there. That’s why I left Somalia for Yemen. I want to live in peace.”

He said that the cost of a boat from Djibouti to Yemen is only $30 per person and the route is safer from Djibouti to the Yemeni coasts. The problems is that to be trafficked from Somalia to Djibouti, a person needs at least $200.

Habiba Gurea, a 39 year old Somali mother, and her three children of ages two, three and ten, arrived 13 days ago to Khokha from Djibouti. Gurea said her older brother was killed by Somali gangsters in front of her eyes because he tried prevent them from entering her family’s home to rape her younger sister. “They broke the door, killed him immediately and searched for my younger sister who was hiding somewhere in the house. They tried to find her and rape her, and I ran away out of a door in the back of our home,” said Gurea before stopping to wipe her tears.

She said that weeks later her sister was killed while on her way to the market to buy food when a mortar shell slammed down, killing her and scores of other civilians.

“My husband passed away a couple of months ago, so my kids and I had no one to care for us, and it was dangerous to keep living in Mogadishu. So, I decided to immigrate to Yemen where there is security to raise them,” said Gurea.

She left to Djibouti where she stayed for three months collecting money to be able to migrate to Yemen. “I had to collect the $120 from Somali friends in Djibouti which paid for some smugglers to bring my children and I to Yemen.”

Upon their arrival, Gurea and her children were brought to the Kharaz refugee camp. She said the UNHCR gave her a tent, a little food, clothes for her and her children, and a kitchen set, but she alleged they did not give her mattresses nor blankets since her arrival until May 11 when we met her.

She added that the amount of food she had received was gone four days ago. “My children and I only had tea today and yesterday. That is all we have now,” said Gurea. She alleged that she arrived along with 39 persons to the camp, and that all of them got mattresses and blankets except her and her kids. “Every time I go to the UNHCR people, they tell me come tomorrow,” she claimed.

Abdullah Saleh, Kharaz camp manager, said it was impossible that she and her kids had not received mattresses and blankets yet because they usually give new arrivals such items following their arrival. He alleged that she might have sold them and now wants to get some more. He did, however, promise to investigate about the truth.

70 kilometers to the south of Kharaz camp, eight young Somali refugees were found running along the road to Aden at 2:00 pm on May 11.

Yasin Noor Zakarya, 37, said they left Karaz camp at 9:00 pm on May 10 for Aden city.

He said that they did not have enough food in the camp where he and his friends were received and stayed there for four days before they decided to leave to Aden.

21 year old Ismael, one of the Somalis running to Aden, was found sick with a fever and several spots on his skin. They had no water or food with them and had no money to pay for a car to take them to Aden. When spotted by Yemen Observer reporters, they had crossed 70 kilometers off Kharaz camp and ran 90 kilometeres more to Aden.

The group said they came to Yemen from Somalia, directly to Meifa’a from which they were brought to Kharaz camp.

They said that no casualties happened during their trip from Somalia to Yemen, and that they had paid $50 each for the Somali smugglers to bring them to Yemen.

They all arrived with 120 other people on a fishing boat from Bosasso in Somalia five days before.

Kharaz refugees camp hosts around 9,000 refugees, and more than 80 percent of them are from Somalia, while the rest are from Ethiopia.

According to a recent report issued by the UNHCR, more than 30,000 Somalis have arrived to Thubab and Khokha districts of Taiz governorate in the southwest coast of Yemen from Djibouti.

While writing this story, an 18 year old Somali boy was found at the front gate of the UNHCR demanding help.

Mohammed Ali Abdo said he has been living in Yemen since 1991, and that he has born in Yemen.

He said life became very hard in Yemen since the past two years, so he applied for help from the UNHCR. “They promised to enroll me in a training workshop to learn a craft so that I can help me to feed myself. They also promised to give me YR700 everyday to survive, but none of their promises were fulfilled,” claimed Abdo.