Migration Response Centres (MRCs) East and Horn of Africa (01 January – 31 December 2020)


A total of 863 migrants were registered at MRCs across the region in December, an almost 20% decrease compared to November. This brings the total registrations in 2020 to 8,107 migrants. Only three out of seven MRCs recorded registrations in December. Most migrants were registered in Obock (639), followed by Hargeisa (123) and Bossaso (101). No migrants were registered in Ethiopia at the MRCs in Dire Dawa, Metema, Semera and Togochale.
Despite a 25% decrease compared to November, a large number of arrivals continue to be recorded at the MRC in Obock due to the closure of the Massagara reception site in October. This decision followed an agreement between IOM and the Government of Djibouti which stipulates that all migrants who have returned to Obock, the vast majority of whom returned from Yemen, are now being registered at the MRC in Obock. At the same time, the MRC in Obock temporarily resumed its Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) services at the end of December. A total of 43 migrants returned to their country of origin, including 35 unaccompanied migrant children (UMCs). Similarly, the MRC in Hargeisa resumed its services, although at reduced levels, with a total of 8 AVR movements processed in December.
Similar to the previous month, more male adults (78%) were registered in December than female adults (7%), while 15% of registrations were children. This is consistent with the large volume of new registrees at the MRC in Obock who were mostly Ethiopian men returning from Yemen, aged between 18 and 29 years. Meanwhile, child registrations almost doubled over the past month, passing from 86 in November to 128 in December. Most migrant children were registered in Hargeisa (56%), followed by Obock (34%) and Bossaso (10%). While almost all the children registered at the MRC in Hargeisa (97%) were accompanied, most children tracked in Bossaso (92%) and Obock (85%) were unaccompanied.
Almost all the registered migrants were Ethiopian nationals (99.8%), and the majority reported departing from Yemen, in particular from Aden (50%) and Marib (18%). The remaining migrants mainly departed from the Oromia (24%) and Somali (2%) regions of Ethiopia. Almost all the registrees in Obock (92%) were planning to go back to their country of origin, whereas almost all the registrees in Bossaso (96%) reported their intention to continue their journey to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In addition, 5% of all the registrees in Hargeisa reported their intention to go to Yemen. Overall, most migrants reported migrating for economic reasons (90%).

Source: International Organization for Migration