UNCHR Voices Concern on Appalling Situation of Somali Refugees

Thousands of Somali refugees have sought safety in Ethiopia, Kenya and Yemen, according to Melissa Fleming, a spokesperson of UNHCR.

Ms. Melissa Fleming told journalists in Geneva that most Somali refugees fled from the Bay and Bakol provinces of southern and central Somalia where the major conflict has erupted in the past weeks.

“The refugees are in miserable condition. War has displaced them where violations of human rights are rampant.”-Ms. Fleming

She also added that droughts also worsened the humanitarian crisis in Somalia.

Regardless of the civil unrest in Yemen and the dangers involved, more than 22,000 refugees and migrants from other countries in the Horn of Africa had arrived on Yemeni coasts between January and March in 2011.”-Ms. Fleming

Some of the new arrivals in Yemen were unaware of the political and social turmoil facing the country. Others said they had no option but to evacuate.

According to UNCHR, Somalia generates the highest number of refugees in the world next to Afghanistan and Iraq. There are an estimated 1.5 million internally displaced persons inside Somalia and more than 680,000 Somalis live as refugees in neighboring countries.

Somalia has no functioning national government. It has been devastated by factional warfares since the collapse of late Mohamed Siad Barre administration in 1991.