3 The ongoing armed conflict and widespread human rights violations continue to affect the civilian population, putting lives at risk and forcing many to flee their homes in search of safety.
4 Insecurity and attacks against civilians continue in much of the country.
5 Ethnic and social minorities, women, children and people with disabilities are among the recipients.
6 A recent attack on the Hayat Hotel in Mogadishu left at least 21 civilians dead and 117 wounded.
7 UNHCR believes that other people at risk include clan elders, electoral delegates, government workers and officials, police officers, off-duty soldiers and humanitarian workers, among others.
8 The deteriorating security situation, including human rights violations, exacerbates the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and undermines the response capacity of the government and humanitarian actors.
9 Somalia is facing its worst drought in 40 years and there is a risk of widespread famine in the coming months.
10 The new UNHCR guidelines say that states must allow people fleeing Somalia to seek safety and have their refugee claims assessed in accordance with international law.
11 Those fleeing violence, human rights abuses and persecution would meet the criteria for refugee status under the 1951 Refugee Convention, or under regional instruments, or UNHCR’s broader mandate.
12 At the end of 2021, there were 836,300 Somali refugees and asylum seekers worldwide, the majority of them, nearly 80 percent (more than 650,000), hosted in neighboring and regional countries, including Ethiopia, Kenya, Yemen, Djibouti, Uganda and Sudan.
13 We applaud the commitment of neighboring countries to meet their international legal obligations by keeping their borders open to Somalis fleeing to safety.
14 But we urge all countries, including those further afield, to do the same.