African communities in Yemen denounce attempts to politicise refugee center fire

African communities in Yemen denounce attempts to politicise refugee center fire

Representatives of the African communities in Yemen said on Saturday that the Yemeni National Salvation Government in Sana’a has “shown full and transparent cooperation in reaching the full truth behind the fire incident at the refugee shelter.”

In a statement issued after a press conference in front of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)’s office in the capital Sana’a, representatives of the Ethiopian, Sudanese, Eritrean, Somali, and Djibouti communities refused the politicisation of the shelter fire disaster, noting that the investigation into the accident is still ongoing.

In their statement, the African communities confirmed that the National Salvation Government, despite the difficulties of the war and the blockade, provides aid to African refugees, with the foremost of that aid is their children receiving free education.

The statement explained that the aggression and the blockade on Yemen has increased the suffering of refugees, and many of them have lost their source of livelihood. The statement pointed out that the UNHCR decision to stop providing service to the refugees in 2016 worsened their conditions.

The UNHCR office had set difficult conditions with which it would be impossible for an African immigrant to obtain refugee status, which made them spread on the streets as illegal immigrants, the statement added.

The African communities’ statement also denounced that both UNHCR and IOM are receiving aid meant for African refugees in Yemen, even though they have stopped actually providing services to refugees.

The statement called on the IOM to launch voluntary repatriation of illegal immigrants and to develop solutions that contribute to improving their status and protection.