Ninety five Somali nationals evacuated by plane from the Yemeni capital Sana’a have been temporarily accommodated in Mogadishu with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Somali federal government.
The returnees were mainly women, children and elderly people, including some who were sick. Some joined their relatives in the capital. Others were assisted by IOM.
IOM officer Mohamud Abdi Ahmed told Radio Ergo, “Those who were capable and had relatives in Mogadishu left on their own, but IOM is prepared to help those who want to return to their home towns but cannot afford to do so. We have temporarily accommodated them and we also give them food. We will later facilitate their return to their original home towns.”
Warda Osman arrived with three children from Sana’a, where she had lived for 10 years.
“I am glad to be back home and I am very grateful to those who evacuated us,” she said.
Mohamed Ali Salad, another returnee, said: “I lived in Yemen for 30 years. Though we have houses in this town [Mogadishu], I have no relatives here. Still, I am happy I am back in my country,” he said.
Ahmed Abdi Hassan, Somalia’s Consul to Yemen, accompanied the refugees on the flight. He said there were many other Somali nationals experiencing difficulties in Yemen, especially those in Al Kharaz refugee camp in the south. He said many people were trapped and could not return home due to financial constraints.
He said the government would continue the evacuation process of its citizens.