In 2 days, nearly 260 African refugees arrived in Taiz
Sixty-nine women and seven children were among those who arrived. According to the Interior Ministry website, 197 refugees came from Somalia, and 62 came from Ethiopia.
“All the refugees will go to the refugee asylum center in United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) camp in Al Kharaz, where they will get the essential services,” Zaid Al-Alaya'a, assistant in media affairs at UNHCR, said.
Articles 17 and 22 from the 1951 U.N. Convention stipulate that giving rights to refugees is required. Yemen ratified the articles in 1992.
“Somali refugees have the right to asylum from the first minute they arrive to Yemen,” Al-Alaya'a said.
UNHCR statistics indicate that more than 11,000 Ethiopians remain stranded along the northern borders of Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Ethiopians come to Yemen, using it as a transition route to another country where they can seek economic opportunities.
Regional Director of UNHCR in the Middle East and North Africa Yakoob Al-Helwa said in a press conference statement that in 2011, more than 75,000 Ethiopians out of the total 103,000 Africans succeeded in arriving to the Yemeni coast.
UNHCR estimates that, currently, 470,000 people are registered as internally displaced, and an additional 95,000 people remain unregistered.
By August 2011, some 100,000 IDPs were registered in the south, in addition to the 299,000 IDPs already in the north of Yemen, a result of the war between the government and the Houthi rebel movement, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency.