Somaliland says will not receive more Yemen refugees


The breakaway region of Somaliland announced on Sunday that it would not accept any more refugees fleeing the war in Yemen.

“We will not be accepting Somali refugees or any other refugees fleeing Yemen,” Mohamed Saed, an official of the Somaliland government, told Anadolu Agency.

Up to 18,000 refugees have reportedly crossed the Gulf of Aden from war-ravaged Yemen to seek refuge in Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia’s Puntland region.

According to the International Organization for Migration, at least 2,000 Somali and Yemeni refugees have docked at Berbera, Somaliland’s main port.

Somaliland is not getting any assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner forRefugees (UNHCR), any other international organization or the international community,” Saed told Anadolu Agency.

“We can no longer accommodate the refugees,” he insisted.

Somaliland, once a British protectorate, broke away from Somalia in 1991 but has remained unrecognized by the international community.

Unlike Somalia, the region does receive international funding.

Osman Ali, an UNHCR Somalia official, regretted the announcement.

Somaliland is relatively peaceful and more refugees are expected to arrive in Berbera,” he told Anadolu Agency.

“The decision by Somaliland is regrettable and we hope Hargeysa will reverse its decision,” said Ali.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthi militant group overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.

Riyadh says its anti-Houthi campaign comes in response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – currently in Riyadh – for military intervention against the Shia group.

The Houthis, for their part, denounce the offensive as unwarranted “Saudi-American aggression” againstYemen.

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