Regional mixed migration summary for February 2014
Regional mixed migration summary for February 2014 covering mixed migration events, trends and data for Djibouti, Eritrea,Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Puntland, Somalia, Somaliland and Yemen.
Terminology: Throughout this report the term migrant/refugee is used to cover all those involved in the mixed migration flows (including asylum seekers, trafficked persons, smuggled economic migrants, refugees). If the case load mentioned refers only to refugees, asylum seekers or trafficked persons it will be clearly stated.
Somali movements to Yemen: An estimated 498 Somalis arrived on the Yemeni shores in February 2014, an 18% increase from January 2014 arrivals. February 2014 arrivals averaged 69% less than the arrival figures for February 2012 and 2013. New arrivals were mainly from South Central, and Somaliland particularly Woqoyi Galbeed, Awdal and Togdheer. They report fleeing general insecurity in South Central, persecution by Al Shabab, and persecution by government authorities based on perceived affiliation to Al Shabab. A large number of new arrivals however continue to report flight in pursuit of economic prospects and harbour hopes of reaching Saudi Arabia despite knowledge of border constrictions and ongoing labour migrant expulsions.
Refugees and asylum seekers: In February 2014, there were 964,718 Somali refugees in the region hosted mainly in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen, Eritrea, Djibouti and Uganda. An estimated 22,000 Somalis were registered in the region in 2013.
Modalities of Travel: Somalis from South and Central Somalia indicated that they contracted a broker based in Mogadishu and paid USD 450 each for the journey to Yemen. This fee covered their flight to Berbera, journey to Loya-Ade across the Djiboutian border, onwards to Obock and for the sea journey to Yemen. Those opting for independent travel made their own way to Djibouti and then paid USD150 to a smuggling broker. This covered the cost of journeying through Djibouti to Obock and the boat fees for the sea journey to Yemen. The travel route across Somalia was generally from Mogadishu to Jowhar, Belet Weyne, Gaalkacyo and then Hargeysa before proceeding to Loya-Ade. Some of those that opted to travel overland by vehicle indicated that they were intercepted at checkpoints mounted in Garowe, Puntland. They were held on suspicion of being affiliated to Al Shabab but released on payment of a bribe.
Cross border movements: UNHCR recorded an estimated 2,100 Somali refugee border crossings in January 2014 mainly from Kenya (1,300), followed by Ethiopia (530), and 270 returnees from South Sudan. Returnees largely travelled to Baidoa, Afmadow, Baardheere and Jamaame districts. Returnees from Kenya and Ethiopia were reported to be moving mainly for temporary reasons to pursue farming activities and land tenure in Somalia. An estimated 34,000 Somali refugees crossed the border with Kenya in 2013.
Somali returns from Saudi Arabia: By mid-February 2014 more than 22,148 Somali nationals had arrived in Mogadishu since December 2013 pursuant to Saudi Arabia’s forced expulsion policy for undocumented labour migrants. Minimal assistance is currently available to returnees and IOM is trying to overcome challenges to provide assistance to arriving migrants. So far, nearly 250 returnees received food and water on arrival while 29 had received accommodation and transport assistance to their areas of origin. The Ministry of Interior in Somalia confirmed that they expect 30,000 returnees but this figure has not been corroborated by Saudi authorities.