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Cablegate: Helping Royg Cope with Somali Refugees and An

VZCZCXRO7698
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDIR RUEHKUK RUEHROV RUEHTRO
DE RUEHYN #0588 0971128
ZNY EEEEE ZZH
P 071128Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6745
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUCNSOM/SOMALI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0266

UNCLAS E F T O SANAA 000588

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/07/2012
TAGS: PHUM PREF YM
SUBJECT: HELPING ROYG COPE WITH SOMALI REFUGEES AND AN
UPDATE ON PALESTINIANS IN IRAQ

REF: FRANCHESCHI - HOOD EMAIL 03/27

1. (U) This is an action request for the Department. Please
see paragraph four.

2. (U/NF) In mid-March, UN Assistant High Commissioner for
Refugees Erika Feller visited Yemen to underscore the need
for additional resources to cope with the continuing influx
of refugees from the Horn of Africa to Yemen. The A/HCR met
with senior ROYG officials, including the FM, Deputy FM,
MinInt and the Minister of Human Rights among others. She
stressed the need for the ROYG to abide by its commitments as
a signatory to the Convention on Refugees as well as the
possibility of implementing a plan originally utilized by
UNHCR to cope with North Africa migration to Southern Europe.

3. (U/NF) Post believes that targeted assistance could
provide a significant boost to Yemen's efforts at absorbing
migrants from the Horn of Africa. Assistance geared toward
training a corps within the Ministry of Interior to become
capable of conducting refugee status determinations would
help Yemen create a system for distinguishing between
legitimate refugees from economic migrants, instead of the
current de facto policy of accepting all Somalis on a prima
facie basis and rejecting most non-Somalis out of hand.
UNHCR-Sanaa has expressed strong support for this concept.
Additionally, Post believes that the provision of certain
equipment to the Yemen Coast Guard, such as rigid-hull
inflatable boats, would substantially boost their capability
of interdicting smuggling vessels and conducting surveillance
along the coast.

4. (U/NF) ACTION REQUEST: We encourage the Department to
consult with UNHCR Geneva on the proposal outline in
paragraph three, including a cost estimate and a notional
timetable for implementation.

5. (U/NF) On an unrelated refugee issue, on March 28, a
private human rights activist met with PolChief to discuss a
plan for resettling an estimated 15,000 Palestinian refugees
from Iraq, with Yemen serving as a way-station en route to
final resettlement in South America or Europe. The activist
noted a positive initial reaction from her ROYG interlocutors
for the plan. Separately, UNHCR stated that the ROYG planned
to unveil an initiative to host Palestinian refugees from
Iraq at the Arab League Summit in Riyadh in an effort to
garner additional pledges of financial assistance. Upon his
return from Riyadh, the FM told Charge on April 1 that the
notion of accepting Palestinian refugees from Iraq in Yemen
would "not be considered at this stage." He added that the
ROYG had instead joined an Arab League consensus to pressure
the Government of Iraq to provide better protection to the
Palestinians in that country.
KRAJESKI

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