Berbera, Somaliland — Dozens of Yemeni refugees fleeing the fighting and Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen have arrived in the republic of Somaliland, local officials and the U.N. said on Tuesday.
According to a U.N. relief agency, 32 people from 12 families arrived by boat last weekend in the city of Berbera, a port under the control of Somaliland, a province of Somalia that has declared itself an independent republic. The refugees had fled from the city of Taiz, which is currently being bombed by Saudi warplanes targeting the country’s Houthi rebels.
Some 12 Yemeni families arrived at Berbera port on the Gulf of Aden after traveling from Yemeni's third largest city of Taiz, where warplanes had carried out strikes targeting the Houthi rebels, Omar Abokor, the deputy manager of Somaliland's Berbera port, told reporters on Tuesday.
Somaliland recently gave Sudan permission to use its airport to launch strikes in Yemen.
In years past, the AP notes, more than 200,000 Somalians have fled their violent, poverty-wracked country to seek a better life in Yemen. Now, the tables have turned, as Yemen has fallen into a civil war of its own in which Shiite Houthi insurgents have overrun much of the country, including the capital of Sana’a. Just last week, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the country as rebels advanced on his stronghold in the city of Aden.
In response, Yemen’s neighbors have stepped up their intervention into the conflict, with Saudi Arabia spearheading a major bombing campaign against the rebels.