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In pictures: The Somalis fleeing home from Yemen

image copyrightWFP/Karel Prinsloo

For years many Somalis have fled the instability and fighting in their homeland, crossing the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. But since the start of the Yemeni conflict in March, some of them have been fleeing once more - and returning home in crowded boats that dock at in the northern port of Bossasso.

image copyrightWFP/Karel Prinsloo
image captionMore than 28,000 Somalis have arrived in Bossasso since the conflict between forces loyal to the exiled Yemeni president and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement began.
image copyrightWFP/Laila Ali
image captionFor centuries, there have been close ties between the countries, and Yemen has recently been host to more than 238,000 Somalis refugees. But the destruction of infrastructure and air strikes has led to a humanitarian crisis in the country. More than 40% of returnees from Yemen are children.
image copyrightWFP/Laila Ali
image captionDalal Ahmed Mohamed Salah is a Yemeni national with a Somali wife. He decided to move his family after his neighbourhood was shelled and he was involved in a head-on collision when he was driving the injured to hospital.
image copyrightWFP
image captionBut those returning are not escaping conflict entirely, as Somalia is trying to recover from a two-decade civil war and a UN-backed government is still battling militants from the Islamist al-Shabab group.
image copyrightWFP/Karel Prinsloo
image captionHowever, over the last few years, with the help of African Union troops, the government has captured the militants' strongholds. Amina Ahmed Osman (pictured) has returned with her family - many returning refugees say the new conflict shattered their dreams of finding a better life outside Somalia.
image copyrightWFP/Laila Ali
image captionReturnees first stay at a transit centre in Bossasso that used to be a warehouse for the UN's World Food Programme (WFP). After a few days many go to their regions of origin across Somalia. It is mainly rural areas of southern Somalia that are under al-Shabab.
image copyrightWFP/Laila Ali
image captionThose returning are being given emergency food by the UN, which estimates that about 855,000 people in Somalia are already in need of urgent assistance and 60% of urban households and 95% of rural households suffer from acute poverty.

Related Topics

  • Yemen
  • Somalia

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