Somalilandsun- The UN migration agency said Wednesday it facilitated the return of 316 Somalis back home from Yemen in the past four days after nearly a five-month ordeal.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said a smugglers boat, carrying over 150 Somalis hoping to reach Europe, headed north up the Red Sea on the western coast of Yemen in February.
The IOM said the boat had originated in Somalia and docked once in the South of Yemen but a few kilometers from Yemen’s Al Hudaydah port, the boat was hit, killing 40 persons and severely injuring another 13.
“IOM moved almost 100 Somali survivors of this boat tragedy, who were fit to travel, from Al Hudaydah to Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. They traveled safely overland, bisecting war-torn Yemen,” the IOM said in a statement.
It said three buses and an ambulance departed Sana’a on July 12 to bring the Somali migrants to Aden, where IOM teams in Aden were on standby to receive the group.
“After a night’s rest, IOM helped the group board a passenger boat that sailed from the Aden seaport. Crossing the Arabian Sea in 15 hours on July 14, the group of Somalis — 57 men, 25 women, 5 boys and 3 girls — arrived at the Port of Berbera, Somalia,” it said.
The UN agency said an additional group of Somali migrants left Aden on Saturday with a total of 103 persons (23 men, 22 women, 30 boys and 28 girls).
“In order to guarantee a smooth arrival and appropriate reintegration, IOM Somalia welcomed the returnees. IOM organized the departure of a third group with another 100 Somalis, mainly families with children, on Tuesday from the Aden harbour,” it said.
The IOM said such operations, organized in cooperation with the UNHCR has successfully assisted a total number of 1,306 Somalis in the last six months alo