YEMEN might be at war, but that has not prevented more than 100,000 people this year risking their lives on the high seas to reach it from the Horn of Africa by boat, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
A total of 105,971 people have made the journey as of mid-November, mainly across the Gulf of Aden, according to latest figures from UNHCR and partners. Most people came from Ethiopia and Somalia (88,667 and 17,293 respectively).
This year’s crossings compare to 92,446 to Yemen recorded last year and just 25,898 in 2006, despite heightened conflict and insecurity in Yemen in the past two years.
Most migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from Ethiopia and Somalia embark from the coastal towns of Obock in Djibouti and Bossaso in Puntland, Somalia and cross the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden to Yemen.
So far this year, at least 79 people attempting the crossing to Yemen have been reported dead or missing at sea.