Desperate Situation of Eritrean Afar Refugees in Yemeni City of Al-Hudeyda
It is well remembered that our organization, RSADO, issued a press release on July 12, 2011 in which we called upon the UNHCR for an urgent assistance to the Eritrean Afar refugees who survived to cross the risky voyage of the red sea waters to Yemen. Since then, around three hundred Eritrean Afar refugees who escaped from the tyrannical rule in Eritrea still remain in detention and are at imminent risk of being forcibly returned to Eritrea by Yemeni Authorities.
Regrettably, the 300 Afar refugees are languishing in Al-Hudeyda prison where their lives are trapped in a serious threat. Apart from consistent warnings of forcible return to Eritrea, they are facing communicable diseases caused by contaminated food and water. Amongst them are around 50 Afar refugees are in a grave danger of losing their lives to this disease outbreak.
Unfortunately, the ongoing political uncertainty in Yemen exasperated the situation of Red Sea Afar refugees. Going on almost a year in captivity, they haven’t had any access to UNHCR and Human rights organizations, representatives of Yemeni government or any access to medications and basic needs, which is guaranteed to them under UN Geneva convention on rights of refugees.
We, the Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization (RSADO) call upon the international humanitarian organizations to rescue the lives of these helpless Afar refugees in Al-Hudeyda prison in Yemen. We also extend our urgent appeal to the Yemeni Authorities to guarantee basic rights for these refugees in accordance with the Geneva Convention, and arrange access to the refugees with the refugee agencies. We, the RSADO, also appeal to the Government of Yemen to transfer these refugees from prison to UN refugee camps in the country and facilitate third country resettlement, to prevent possible deportation of Afar refugees back to Eritrea, where they will definitely face persecution and even death.
We once again urge all International Human Rights Organizations, especially the UNHCR to give urgent consideration to this very urgent situation involving Eritrean Afar refugees, without whom remain voiceless and desperate for help.
RSADO, Red Sea Afar Democratic Organization.