Friday, December 29, 2006

The dangerous voyage to Yemen

One overlooked consequence of the lawlessness in Somalia in recent months has been the stream of refugees making their way across the Gulf of Aden northwards towards Yemen.

It is an extremely perilous journey, as this report from Reuters shows. The irony is that the Yemeni government was supplied with better coastguard vessels by the US government after the USS Cole attack in 2000.

Early reports have shown that those 'boat people' who survive the trip face difficult circumstances in Yemen. Their Arabic dialect is very different from Yemeni Arabic, meaning that they cannot easily find work and there is insufficient aid to help them. Yemen, for various reasons I covered a while back, is the poorest country in the Middle East.

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