Conflict has been raging in Yemen since 2015, yet people from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea remain undeterred to thread on the perilous routes only to encounter dangerous conditions when they get there. To paraphrase the Somali-British poet Warsan Shire, they continue to flee their lands, as home won’t let them stay.
Just how dangerous this journey can be was made clear last month, when a boat carrying 150 Somali refugees was attacked by a helicopter and a military ship near the Yemeni port of Hodeidah. At least 42 were killed.
Between January 2006 and April 2016, more than 700,000 persons reportedly crossed from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, with Somalis mostly staying in Yemen as refugees and Ethiopians travelling onwards to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.