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Yemen: Migrants Continue Arriving from Africa

Saturday 20 June 2020

ADEN (Ruptly) — Dozens of African migrants were seen arriving on the shores of Ras al-Ara, in the Yemeni region of Aden on Thursday, despite the country being in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

After Europe started cracking down on migrant routes across the Mediterranean, the journey over the Red Sea to Yemen is now the busiest maritime migration route in the world, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Around 138,000 people reportedly made this journey last year from the Horn of Africa.

Migrants could be seen walking on the beach, being transported in the back of a pick-up truck and lying in Ras al-Ara hospital. “The phenomenon of illegal immigration along with the increase of smugglers led to great pressure on the population in the region and the population of Yemen in general”, said Mutahar Youssef, Director of Ras Al-Ara Hospital. Youssef went on to say that migrants come “specifically from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Starting from there, they reach the coast of Yemen and Ras al-Ara is one of the Yemeni coasts that Africans reach on a daily basis.”

Mohammed Hussain, a migrant from Ethiopia, explained that their hope was to reach Saudi Arabia to work on a farm. Locals reportedly say that most of the migrants are unaware of the fact that Yemen is in a middle of a civil war and struggling to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the UN, Yemen has some 24 mln people requiring aid and more than 3 mln displaced living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.

Mutahar Youssef, Director of Ras Al-Ara Hospital:

The issue of Africans [migrants] has been a thorny issue since the beginning. They come from the countries of the Horn of Africa, specifically from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Starting from there, they reach the coast of Yemen and Ras al-Ara is one of the Yemeni coasts that Africans reach on a daily basis.

[…]

The phenomenon of illegal immigration along with the increase of smugglers led to great pressure on the population in the region and the population of Yemen in general. The numbers were increasing, usually the number of African people arriving was between 400 and 500 people every day. Smuggling began secretly in 2010 and increased when the war broke out, as a result of the insecurity, the weak role of the regulatory security authorities, the lack of coast guard on the Yemeni coast, which contributed to the increasing in the number of African people being smuggled to the Yemeni coast.

Mohammed Hussain, Ethiopian migrant:

There was a Somali [smuggler] who had Somalians with him and within two to three hours they took us to one place and another guy came to take us to another place in Somalia. Then we reached the Ayoa area we stayed there for two to three days. After that they took us to the sea, where their leader was Yemeni. At about 4:30 AM we went down to the coast of Yemen.


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