The civil war in Yemen has gotten so bad that some families are rolling the dice and fleeing to famously unstable Somalia, The Associated Press reports.
According to a U.N. relief agency, 32 people from 12 families arrived by boat last weekend in the city of Berbera, a port under the control of Somaliland, a province of Somalia that has declared itself an independent republic. The refugees had fled from the city of Taiz, which is currently being bombed by Saudi warplanes targeting the country’s Houthi rebels.
Somaliland recently gave Sudan permission to use its airport to launch strikes in Yemen.
In years past, the AP notes, more than 200,000 Somalians have fled their violent, poverty-wracked country to seek a better life in Yemen. Now, the tables have turned, as Yemen has fallen into a civil war of its own in which Shiite Houthi insurgents have overrun much of the country, including the capital of Sana’a. Just last week, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was forced to flee the country as rebels advanced on his stronghold in the city of Aden.
In response, Yemen’s neighbors have stepped up their intervention into the conflict, with Saudi Arabia spearheading a major bombing campaign against the rebels.
Meanwhile, Somalia, though famous in the Western world as a bastion of anarchy and piracy, has improved substantially in recent years, as African Union and Somali forces have substantially expanded the authority of the country’s central government. Still, the al-Qaida-aligned militant group al-Shabab continues to launch violent attacks. Just last week, militants killed at least 10 people in an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu.