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Record exodus from Horn

Zeband sitting in her home that she shares with two other Somali girls at Kharaz camp
(Rocco Nuri/UNHCR)

More people made the journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2009 than ever before, despite the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden being one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world, where the perils include drowning, sharks and unscrupulous people smugglers.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, 75,000 people crossed the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2009, 50 percent more than the number who made the journey in 2008;

  • 309, at least, died during the crossing this year; 32,000 of the 2009 refugees were Somalis, about the same number as in 2008, but a smaller proportion of the total than last year;
  • 42,000 of the 2009 refugees were Ethiopians, double the 2008 figure;
  • 150,000 Somali refugees currently live in Yemen.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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