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Migration Response Centres (MRCs) East and Horn of Africa (01 January - 28 February 2019)

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A total of 1,337 migrants were registered at MRCs across the region in February. The largest number of migrants was registered in Obock (568), followed by Bosasso (525), Hargeisa (134), Semera (69), and Metema (41). About 20% of registrees in February were minors. The largest number of children were registered in Obock (93), Bosassso (86) and Hargeisa (83). While all 83 minors in Hargeisa were accompanied, most minors in Bosasso (84) and Obock (84) were unaccompanied. Most minors in Hargeisa (77) were below the age of 14, while most minors in Bosasso (70) and Obock (73) were 15 or older. Of the 217 minors between the ages of 6 and 17, 75% had received no form of education at the point of interview and only 4% had completed primary school.

Of all the individuals registered across MRCs in February, 99% were of Ethiopian nationality, most commonly from the Oromia (80%), Amhara (6%) and Somali (4%) regions.

With the exception of Hargeisa where the majority of registrees were minors, migrants registered across MRCs were predominantly 18-29 years old. The MRC Hargeisa attracts larger numbers of families compared to other MRCs in the region, due to its location in an area where many migrant families have settled. Of the registered migrants, 96% reported never having attempted a migration journey before. While 95% of all registered men were traveling in a group or alone, females were most commonly traveling with their immediate family (39%) and only 30% reported traveling alone.
A majority of registrees reported migrating for economic reasons (75%), while 14% left their communities of origin in search of educational opportunities. A vast majority of migrants seeking educational opportunities were young, Ethiopian males registered in Bosasso, 19% of whom were minors. Over 75% of these migrants were returning to Ethiopia.

Fewer migrants than in previous months (55%) reported that they were headed along the Eastern Route to Saudi Arabia and almost a third (31%) of registered migrants were returning home to their communities of origin. A vast majority of returnees were registered in Bosasso, where a security campaign in February had resulted in fewer boat departures, causing many migrants to be stranded in Bosasso, where some were assisted by local authorities to return to their countries of origin.

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