Djibouti: Inter-agency update for the response to the Yemeni situation #44 (21 June - 16 July 2016)
Refugees currently hosted in Djibouti pending further physical verification exercises
Registered children and adolescents.
Ensure protection of refugees and asylum seekers and provide assistance.
Provide documents to refugees.
Work with the government to ensure access to territory and freedom of movement.
Continue to develop the infrastructure at Markazi camp.
Continue border monitoring activities.
According to the latest available statistics from IOM and the Djibouti government, 35,862 persons of mixed nationalities have arrived in Djibouti as of 16 July 2016 (since 26 March 2015). Of those, 19,936 persons (56 per cent) are Yemeni nationals, 13,962 (38 per cent) are transiting migrants and 1,964 persons (6 per cent) are Djiboutian returnees.
As at 16 July 2016, there are 3,568 refugees currently in Djibouti (pending forthcoming verification exercises in Obock town and Djibouti city). Markazi camp hosts over 1,400 refugees.
Operational Context and Migration
UNHCR carries out regular border monitoring in Djibouti by observing activities at Obock port as well as entry points along the villages north of Obock. UNHCR has observed a decrease in new arrivals compared to previous months; this may be due to the harsh weather conditions in Obock. Meanwhile, UNHCR continues to advise refugees in Markazi camp on the dangers of return to Yemen. The number of Yemeni refugees spontaneously returning to their places of origin, mainly Bab Al Mandab and Aden, has significantly decreased. Based on returned refugee cards and attestations, only 30 refugees returned in June compared to 158 in May, and 846 returns from February to April.
The conditions of return continue to be unsafe. Refugees have realized this and are heading back to Djibouti. In June, 44 refugees returned from Yemen and re-registered with ONARS and UNHCR. Those who returned to Djibouti informed UNHCR that they did so because of the insecurity persisting in their areas of return and the lack of access to basic services.
The Day of the African Child was celebrated across the three refugee camps of Djibouti including Markazi camp on 16 June. The central theme was “Conflict and Crisis in Africa: Protecting all Children’s Rights’’. The celebration was organised by the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) with the participation of UNHCR, ONARS and partners operating in the camps. Children from the various refugee communities sang songs, recited poems and performed short skits.