World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Killings of Two People Approaching Yemeni Coast

Killings of Two People Approaching Yemeni Coast Prompt Alarm from UN Refugee Agency

New York, Dec 14 2006 3:00PM

The United Nations refugee agency has expressed concern after Yemeni security forces opened fire earlier this week on one of the many boats carrying people across the Gulf of Aden during the annual smuggling season, killing two people.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) deputy director for the region, Radhouane Nouicer, said yesterday that the agency has asked Yemeni authorities to instruct the local coastguard to refrain from shooting at boats as the arrive.

“We are extremely concerned about this incident, where innocent civilians got hurt,” Mr. Nouicer said.

Survivors of Monday’s incident have told UNHCR staff that Yemeni armed forces starting shooting as passengers on a boat carrying 120 Somalis and Ethiopians disembarked on a beach near the town of Belhaf. The fatalities are believed to be one Somali passenger and one smuggler.

The remaining smugglers on the boat – who were in possession of a gun, according to the passengers – then decided to head back to sea with about 60 people still on board, before later dropping the passengers further along the coast near Jila’a.

About 110 of the boat people have now sought assistance from a UNHCR reception centre in May’fa.

The killings come as UNHCR has expressed growing concern in recent weeks about Yemen’s treatment of the thousands of people who have been arriving from Somalia, usually in extremely rickety boats, during the annual sailing season on the Gulf of Aden.

As many as 23,000 people have been documented making the journey this year, and UNHCR records indicate that at least 360 people have perished during the crossing – there are reports that smugglers sometimes attack passengers and throw them overboard – and another 150 people are missing.

Earlier this month UNHCR urged Yemen to reconsider the imminent deportation of a group of 126 Ethiopian boat people and urged the country to abide by its commitments under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Yemen is one of the few countries in its region that has signed that pact. There are now more than 88,000 registered refugees in the country, with nearly all hailing from Somalia.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

University of Auckland: Low-Lying Pacific Island Has More Land Above Sea Level Than In 1943

An inhabited island in the low-lying Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands, which are thought to be at risk of being inundated by rising sea levels, has actually increased in size since 1943, scientists say. And the increase in area above sea level is likely ... More>>

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

OHCHR: UN Committee Issues Recommendations To Combat Racial Profiling

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today published its guidance to combat racial profiling, emphasizing, among other issues, the serious risk of algorithmic bias when artificial intelligence (AI) is used in law enforcement. The ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>