Djibouti concerned over thousands of Yemeni refugees

Updated: 2015-04-01 21:41


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DJIBOUTI - Djibouti's Prime Minister Abdoulkdare Mohamed Kamil has expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in the country that thousands of Yemeni refugees fleeing fight between Houthi militia and a coalition of Arab nations are expected to flock in.

The prime minister made the remark on Monday with Djibouti's Interior Minister Hassan Omar Mohamed saying the country was preparing to receive between 5,000 and 7,000 Yemeni refugees in the coming days.

During a meeting chaired by Kamil, senior officials also discussed measures needed to be taken to evacuate between 1,500 to 2,000 Djiboutian nationals currently living in Yemen.

Omar Mohamed said the influx of refugees had began with the arrival of hundreds of people through the sea and aboard regular flights or charter flights organized by the Yemenia Airways, Yemen's national carrier.

"Already we have received on our territory over 686 people from Yemen who arrived through the air or maritime routes," Omar Mohamed said, adding that the Djibouti government is taking care of the refugees.

Djibouti previously hosted refugees from neighboring countries affected by conflicts, especially Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea, Omar Mohamed said.

Djibouti's National Office for Assistance of Refugees and Disaster Victims on Monday urged international partners "to provide support necessary for taking care of the Yemeni refugees." Djibouti shares a maritime border with Yemen.

A source from Djibouti's interior ministry said evacuation of the country's nationals from Yemen could start as soon as Wednesday.