Almotamar.net - Hundreds of Somali refugees who crossed the Gulf of Aden in overcrowded smugglers' boats to Yemen said they had fled the extremist policies of the Islamic Courts movement that controls much of Somalia, a UN agency said Friday.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a statement that at least 18 Somalis and Ethiopians died during the past eight days and 17 others were still missing after they were dropped from human traffickers' boats off Yemen's coast.
It said those victims were among nearly 1,500 Somalis and Ethiopians who arrived at the Yemen coast during the same period. "Most new arrivals told our teams that they were from southern and central Somalia, where they claim their freedom has been significantly curtailed since the region came under the control earlier this year of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU)," the UNHCR's statement said.
Somalia has been without a functioning central government since 1991. The ICU has taken control of most of southern and central Somalia since its forces seized the capital Mogadishu in June.
"They also cite an increase in inter-tribal and inter-clan conflict and say they fear for their lives," the statement added. The statement quoted Somali refugees as saying that the ICU has ruled that "men must be the sole family breadwinners and that women are expected to stay at home."
Somali migrants often cite insecurity, drought and economic hardship as reasons for leaving the Horn of Africa country.
According to the UNHCR, more than 22,000 people have crossed the Gulf of Aden from Somalia to Yemen this year in smugglers' boats. At least 355 were not able to make it to shore alive, while more than 150 are missing, the UN agency said.
The latest surge began in September when smugglers once again began sailing rickety, overcrowded boats across the Gulf of Aden with the onset of calmer weather.
Smugglers frequently beat their passengers or force them overboard into the deep waters of the Gulf of Aden while still far from shore, sometimes with their hands tied behind their backs.
Parliament Speaker Yahya al-Rae'i has discussed in Djibouti with Iranian Shura Council Speaker Ali Larijani a number of issues of joint interests of the two countries.
The meeting was held in the sideline of their participation in the opening of Djibouti parliament new building.
Al-Rae'i emphasized the importance of the Iranian role in the region in order to achieve security, stability and development of the regions' nations.
In return, Larijani expressed his strong adherence to the mutual interests between the two countries in a way that results in the stability of the region. Several issues of common interest were touched upon in the meeting.
Yemen has signed agreements-in-principle to regulate and exchange air transport services with seven European and African countries.
The agreements were signed with each of Austria, Greece, Malta, Switzerland, Czech, Poland and Burundi in the sidelines of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Air Services Negotiation Event (ICAN2014) concluded in the Indonesian city of Bali on November 21, said Mohamed Abdul-Kader, the deputy chairman of General Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (CAMA).
President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi held on Saturday a meeting with Prime Minister Khalid Bahah and the Presidential advisors' panel.
They reviewed decision drafts proposed by the government to form three committees, one to be tasked with studying the country's economic and financial situation. The other two are to be charged with preparing urgent executive plans for the implementation the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) regarding the Southern and Sa'ada issues.
The US Department of Defense has announced the transfer of four Yemeni detainees, and a Tunisian national, from Guantanamo Bay to Georgia and Slovakia.
Two separate statements by the US Department of Defense on Thursday said that Salah Mohammed Salih Al-Dhabi, Abdel Ghaib Ahmad Hakim, and Abdul Khaled Al-Baydani were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Georgia, and Hashim Bin Ali Bin Amor Sliti and Husayn Salim Muhammad Al-Mutari Yafai were transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to the Government of Slovakia.
The HEYA Yemen team in Participation for Community Foundation (PCF), along with their five local partners; (Awaam Foundation for Development, My Vision NGO, Shaher Foundation for Consultancy and Marketing, The Third Eye Foundation, Tanwaa Foundation) and the regional umbrella organization , Academy for International Development – Middle East and North Africa (AID-MENA), launched their first press conference at the Saba Hotel in Sanaa, Yemen.
Despite the deteriorating security situation in Yemen, the event was attended by community public figures, civil society organizations (CSOs) and more than 20 media bodies that included radio and television news channels, newspaper journalists and various online platforms to highlight the role of Yemini women during the democratic transition.
Guest speaker of the press conference, Mr. Amin Goman, the Capital Secretary Assistant reiterated HEYA’S intentions, claiming that “in order to achieve the outputs of the national dialogue, we have to work closely with all women alliances to increase the role of women in monitoring and formulating public policies and to take part of the decision making process in Yemen”
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Monday valued highly the Japanese donation of US$5.3 million to support on-site school feeding up to the end of the current school year.
The donation was confirmed at a signing ceremony in Rome on 7 November.
"This is a new activity for WFP Yemen, which we have been able to launch entirely as a result of Japan's support," said WFP Yemen Deputy Country Director and Officer-in-Charge Rukia Yacoub. "With this latest donation, we can continue to provide snacks to children attending school right through the year."
"I believe this food aid will contribute directly to the alleviation of the impacts of food shortages as well as the improvement of people's nutritional status in this country," said Japanese ambassador to Yemen Katsuyoshi Hayashi.
Under this operation, WFP will provide a daily snack, consisting of a nutritious date bar, to some 295,000 primary and secondary schoolchildren regularly attending school, to encourage attendance and help them to concentrate during lessons.
The Standing Committee of the General People's Congress (GPC) held its special session chaired by Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the GPC.
During the meeting they discussed the current developments on the national scene in Yemen and regulatory conditions of the GPC.
The Commission adopted its regulatory decisions of new appointments at senior organizational configurations of the Presidency GPC.
After discussions and proposals the members of the Committee approved the following names:
A Republican decree No. (140) for the year 2014 was issued on Friday naming the new government members as follows:
President of the Republic,
After perusal of the constitution of the Republic of Yemen,
Law No. (3) for the year 2004 on the Cabinet,
Decree of the President of the Republic No. (62) for the year 2014 to authorize Mr. Khaled Mahfoudh Bahah to form the government,
The Gulf Cooperation Council initiative and its implementation mechanism signed on 23/11/2011,
Peace and National Partnership Agreement signed on 21/9/2014, and
A proposal by Prime Minister, and for the supreme interest of the country.
It has been decided,
Article No. (1): The government is to be formed as to follow