Somalilandsun – While we are happy to be walking humbly with the rest of the world and help those in need of refuge to temporarily roost in our country, however in our small way, what really matters and that has not been shed light on logically and tangibly is the policy towards the act.
It is true that the Yemenis today are in a situation that Somalilanders experienced vastly a quarter of a century ago.
But as we fled en-masse to Ethiopia, the neighboring country managed our plight as per policy that guided everything on ground hence pegged on the movements of those in refuge.
So, too, do countries taking in refugees all over the world do so on monthly and annual basis, not without qualms, but with decisive policies.
Despite the fact that the new wave of voluntary economic migratory trends is reminiscent of the boat people of the 18th century slavery times, the case of the Yemeni plight is considerably understandable.
What provokes this column into thinking about on the matter in question are main two factors.
For one, the influx is not controlled by a tangible policy equivalent to that of the international caliber.
And secondly, when we closely look at the Yemenis who arrived at the country, we find those who have already made their ways into Hargeisa, having already settled comfortably, and, if anything, speak the Somali language quite well.
When the policy is not clear-cut and the influxes see the immigrants melting into the populace, it calls for much more than a mere frown.
We do not refuse the humanitarian offer of taking in people in such a plight. After all who is more and quite better placed to understand the situation than us?
We rather expected the government to make camps for them in conjunction with the UN arms charged with the matter, the ICRC, SRCS etc.
The funny thing which is not in order is that when the Yemenis enter the country, they are taken to temporary “shelters” which are indeed halls, registered, and then immediately after being handed a menial $120 emergency pocket money, they diffuse into the society.
So far, hundreds of Yemenis have arrived who translate into thousands of individuals. Their movements are not controlled and their whereabouts thereafter unknown when they mingle with the mainstream members of the public.
A few who have been sighted in Hargeisa have been seen already going about their duties, blended well into both the economic and the community lives of SL and have been seen to speak not only passable but good Somali language.
We believe that native Yemenis do not know the Somali language and some of these refugees initially fled Mogadishu. What mode are they, thus, registered as?
An original editorial of The Horn Tribune, a weekly English newspaper published in Hargeisa by the state owned Dawan Media Group-DMG