Yemen, Sana’a, A Somali Independent journalist in Yemen warned Tuesday that UNHCR’s reputation lies in tatters after Mohamed Abdi Affey’s mismanagement amid bribery.
“Mr Affey has learnt that some of local UNHCR staffers take bribe from their clients (refugees) but did nothing about it, though he told Somali TV that he would fight against corruption and that’s why we believe the UNHCR’s reputation lies in tatters today,”said Ahmed Abdi, a Somali journalist based in Yemen.
The United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi appointed a Somali Kenyan diplomat Mohamed Abdi Affey as his Special Envoy for Somali refugees to represent UNHCR and himself at a diplomatic level.
“What we are already seeing is not donor fatigue as Affey says, but the donor’s increasing distrust of UNHCR’s Mohamed Abdi Affey, who only wants to enrich himself and do nothing for the interest and well-being of the Somali refugees in Horn of Africa and Yemen,” said Mr. Abdi.
The journalist called on UNHCR High Commissioner Filippo Grandi to be aware what his UNHCR staffers down the line doing to Somali refugees in Yemen and elsewhere.
“As you know, Ethiopians ad Somalis don’t like each and and one of your local staffers, Mohamed Omar, from Ethiopia, who participated in the Ogaden war (1977-78 ) has already blocked any assistance to your Somali refugees in Sana’a, Yemen and has introduced new tactics to commit further violations, and if he succeeds his plan, immeasurable damage could be done to the reputation of your organization, the United Nations Humanitarian Arm or UNHCR,” he added.
He continued, “A fair and trustworthy High Commissioner whose rise will change the World may not allow this ill-treatment against refugees to be continued.” This madness happens when a person stays a field office and tells every new staffer, “This is, how things work with UNHCR Yemen.”
Omar forced many Somali refugees and asylees from Ogaden to wait 5-7 years for their resettlement cases and oftentimes without any updates when they follow up their cases. Moreover, some of them said that they believe that he has sold their cases to other people while being intimidated and attacked by him, according to refugees who asked not to be named for fear of reprisal.
Most refugees felt helpless after their former leader Yusuf Goggaar from Somaliland and his wife were allegedly executed by poison. Another Somali Christian father from the South likely died of poisoning. He left behind a son and his Bible. The gangsters that are eliminating the voice of the voiceless refugees remain unknown to the wider Yemeni community and the rest of the World.
According to the refugees, there is no independent body overseeing what UNHCR Yemen does on the ground. And no private human rights organizations that could put pressure on the UN to do the right things.