The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) says it has resumed voluntary repatriations of migrants from Yemen. Repatriations were halted last month due to military operations in the city of Hodeida.
IOM said that after a careful evaluation of the current situation and high-level coordination with partners, the voluntary repatriation of 53 Ethiopian migrants was organized. The migrants returned home after trips were halted last month due to instability and conflict in the port city.
The UN organization said in a statement that a safe corridor was organized on July 12 to move the migrants from the port of Hodeida. A ship provided with the necessary authorization transported 53 migrants (48 men and five boys) from war-torn Yemen to Djibouti, where UN staff welcomed them to coordinate their subsequent travels.
"It was important to focus on the evacuation of migrants present in Hodeida and move them as soon as possible due to the escalation of fighting around the city", said Stefano Pes, who is in charge of IOM in Yemen. "We are happy that we were able to evacuate them".
The suspension of activities
Last month (on June 22), IOM announced that its assistance for the voluntary repatriation of migrants stranded in Hodeida would be provisionally suspended due to military operations close to the port city. Previously, the UN agency had to annul the scheduled trip of migrants stranded in the area on June 14. With fighting intensifying near the Migrant Response Point (MRP) of the organization in Hodeida, 22 Ethiopian migrants on June 19 were evacuated towards Sana.
IOM in Yemen continues to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and displaced people in Hodeida at its Migrant Response Point, which is now also providing support to displaced Yemenis as well as migrants.