At least 60 Somalis left Yemen and arrived in Somalia’s semi-autonomous region of Puntland to escape the escalating violence. This is the first group of Somali citizens living in Yemen who have returned home.
Authorities said on Wednesday that 62 Somalis crossed the sea between Somalia and Yemen on a small boat to reach the port town of Bossaso. They were received by the local administration in the harbour.
‘’ The lives of Somali people in Yemen is in danger and if they are not evacuated soon, they will be caught up in worse situations,’’ said one of the returnees.
Last week, Somalia announced that it is planning to evacuate its citizens in the country, but it did not specify when it will start.
Elsewhere, UNHCR said that at least 32 Yemenis have arrived in the Northern Port town of Berbera, who are seeking for refuge.
Violence in Yemen escalated in recent months as several parallel conflicts have intensified and expanded, with the Houthi rebels backed by the Iranian government overthrowing the weak government.
The rise of Houthi rebels has led to an immediate reaction from neighbouring countries, with Saudi Arabia stepping up airstrikes in the capital, Sana’a.
For two decades, Somalis fleeing their failed state found in Yemen a safe haven, a place to work, and a gateway to wealthier gulf states. The number of Somalis living in Yemen is thought to be around 500,000.