Yemen: On World Refugee Day, Refugees protest against UNHCR’s corruption and mismanagement
Sana’a Yemen,(Mareeg) -Dozens of Palestinian and Horn of Africa refugees and asylees on Tuesday gathered in front of UNHCR’s Bureau for Refugee Affairs (BRA) at Algerian Street, Sana’a to raise awareness of the UN’s corruption and mismanagement in terms of protection and services as well as resettlement cases.
The protesters carrying poster boards and pictures listed their demands made a long-line facing towards the UNHCR Compound and they raised slogans, ‘We die in the conflict, ‘We die because of hunger as well as poverty.”
Senior leaders of the UNHCR Yemen have ignored the plight of the refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan, Palestine and Ethiopia’s Ogaden and Oromo regions, according to community leaders who participated in the protest against the UNHCR for the first time in years.
UNHCR’s country representative, Ayman Gharaibeh, replaced Johannes van der Klaauw and has been here almost seven months yet refused to meet the community leaders amid listening to their problems and concerns.
In Sana’a, UNHCR has been providing protection and services for refugees and asylum seekers including by providing legal assistance, supporting education and livelihoods programs, and providing access to heasomalilandlth and psycho-social services, cash programs for persons with specific needs amongst others.
Despite the Yemen Conflict, Refugees and asylees stay in Yemen which is hospitable to refugees from different nations, including Iraqis, Syrians, Palestinians and Horn of Africans.
“We did not die because of the four-year conflict that we trapped in but we want UNHCR to do everything to ensure providing us basic things in order to continue surviving during this turbulent time,” said a Sudanese refugee who asked not to be named.
One of the Ogaden community leaders says UNHCR has already stopped giving documentations to new arrivals and newborn babies which further complicated the case.
“Since August last year, No single Ogadeni asylee has given a document and newborn babies have denied any registration papers.”
According to refugees, there is no any independent body overseeing what the UNHCR staffers do on the ground level. And no private human rights organizations that could put pressure on UN to do the right thing.
“The European Commission, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, France, Canada, South Korea, Sweden, Japan, World Bank, IMF and other donors should be aware what the UNHCR staffers down the line doing to refugees in Yemen and elsewhere,” he added.
He continued, “When the democratic countries decide to take in refugees and asylees from Yemen the UNHCR staffers left behind the vulnerable ones.”