Yemen struggles to accommodate refugees

June 4, 2012 at 1:13 PM
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SANAA, Yemen, June 4 (UPI) -- Facing an unprecedented economic and humanitarian crisis, Yemen is struggling to accommodate an increasing influx of African refugees, officials said.

Yemeni officials warned Monday against what appears to be a never-ending arrival of African refugees to the impoverished nation, saying to Mareb Press the burden was proving too much to bear.

Plagued by instability and widespread poverty, the interior ministry said it feared Yemen did not have the resources required to handle such an exodus, stressing terror elements were hiding among refugees to cross over to Yemen undetected, al-Masdar online reported.

"Refugees from Somalia and the Horn of Africa have challenged the Yemeni government, especially from a security angle, as some of them join criminal gangs or armed groups that use violence against the state," said Col. Mohammed al-Qaidi a spokesman for the interior ministry was quoted as saying by Yemen National.

The United Nations said 43,000 African migrants fled to Yemen in the first four months of this year, compared to 30,000 during the same period in 2011.

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