SANAA, YEMEN — A SHIP carrying 2,500 famished Somali refugees steamed toward the Yemeni port of Aden Nov. 17 after those aboard received food, water, and medical assistance at the remote port of Mukalla.
Rescue workers were making arrangements to help refugees as soon as they arrived, said Toufiq Ouanes, the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He said trucks were being readied to take the refugees to a makeshift camp at neighboring Haswa beach. From there they will be taken inland to refugee tent cities.
Yemeni authorities had agreed to allow the ship to stop at Mukalla for emergency provisions but refused to let refugees disembark there because of the lack of facilities.
The Samaa-1, owned by a Dubai-based company, had crawled into Mukalla Nov. 16 at the speed of 7 knots because it was low on fuel. The refugees sailed Nov. 11 from Somalia with little food or water for the 1,200-mile journey.
Tens of thousands have fled Somalia since January to escape clan fighting and famine that have killed at least 300,000 people. Two million more are said to be on the verge of starvation.
In June, about 150 Somali refugees died from dehydration or hunger, or drowned after jumping ship, when Yemeni authorities refused to allow their vessel to dock.
The refugees were allowed into the country after the UN made arrangements to care for refugees in Yemen. There are now an estimated 62,000 Somalis in the country. Bosnian refugees denied visas
Britain refused entry visas Nov. 16 to almost all of a group of 183 Bosnian refugees, who have spent six days stranded on Austria's border with Slovenia awaiting a decision.
Armed Forces minister Archie Hamilton said only six of the refugees with relatives in Britain would be allowed in. Two other applications, both medical cases, were under review.
The refugees, who include women, children, and elderly people, were barred from entering Austria en route to Britain on Nov. 10 after British Home Secretary Kenneth Clarke imposed visa restrictions on nationals of the former Yugoslavia.
Mr. Clarke enforced new visa restrictions in an attempt to stop the arrival of a growing number of refugees from former Yugoslavia. He said some 40,000 had come since January.
The opposition accuses the government of doing far less than other European countries to shelter civilians fleeing war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.