Djibouti Forms Crisis Committee to Handle Yemen Repatriations

Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf
Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said there is a, “mass exodus of people fleeing the combat zones and bombing.” Photographer: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo.

Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh formed a crisis committee to handle the repatriation of foreigners fleeing war in Yemen, Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said.

At least 1,266 people, including nationals from China and India, have arrived in Djibouti by air and sea since a 10-country coalition began aerial strikes in Yemen last month, Youssouf told reporters on Wednesday in the capital, Djibouti City.

Air strikes against Houthi rebels have caused a “mass exodus of people fleeing the combat zones and bombing,” Youssouf said. “Among these populations, many Djiboutian including students and families living in Yemen are under constant threat.”

Saudi Arabia is heading the coalition attacking Houthi insurgents who have seized much of the country and driven President Abdurabuh Mansur Hadi out of the capital, Sana’a. Djibouti is separated from Yemen by a 32-kilometer (20-mile) wide strait known as the Bab al-Mandab, or gate of grief, which links the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

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