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Somalia evacuates 95 nationals from Yemen: official

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

MOGADISHU -- Somalia on Monday evacuated 95 nationals from the war-ravaged Yemen as part of the government's effort to evacuate its citizens from the Arabian Peninsula nation.

State Minister of Interior Abdi Rashid Hidig told Xinhua that a joint mission by Somali government and international aid agencies in Yemen had managed to repatriate several Somalis in the capital, Sana'a, and many others are still waiting to be rescued.

"There are still thousands of Somalis trapped in Yemen and we are doing our best to ensure they are all safely rescued and transported home. We will still continue with this exercise in the coming days until we are sure all Somalis are back home safely," Hidig said.

Mohamed Hussein, who was among the returnees landed in Mogadishu Monday, told Xinhua his arrival at Aden Ade Airport was a great relief.

"Life was extremely difficult in Yemen. When the Saudi airstrikes started, everything changed and it was a struggle to live. We have been waiting for our government to come for us and finally today we are home safely," said Hussein.

It is estimated that upwards of 300,000 Somalis have been living in Yemen either as refugees, workers or others on transit to Europe. More than a thousand others arrived by boat in the last one month through the ports of Bosasso and Berbera northern Somalia.

The ongoing Saudi Arabia operation against the rebel Houthis in Yemen has caused a refugee crisis and Somalia has become the new home even for Yemeni nationals who have been forced to cross the border to Somalia.


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