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10 May 2016 description
report IRIN

Ethiopians head into Yemen while refugees flee the other way

By Rachel Savage and Mohammed Ali Kalfood


11 Aug 2015 description
report IRIN

By Katie Riordan

HARGEISA, 11 August 2015 (IRIN) - Qader and Abdi are two weeks into their journey. Carrying only one empty plastic water bottle each, flattened, with no liquid to return it to its cylindrical shape, the two men figure they will be walking for another month-and-a-half before they reach the sea. From there, they will take a smuggler boat the short distance to Yemen, where another 600-kilometre walk lies ahead before they may reach their final destination, Saudi Arabia.

08 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

LONDON, 8 April 2015 (IRIN) - As the Saudi-led aerial bombardment of Yemen intensifies and a full-scale civil war appears increasingly inevitable, there are few immediate escape routes for well over a million African migrants and refugees in the country.

Ports are closed and air traffic is largely restricted to evacuation flights for nationals of western or Asian countries. A few hundred foreign nationals have been allowed to cross a land border into Oman.

20 Nov 2014 description
report IRIN

SANAA, 20 November 2014 (IRIN) - Yemen's security crisis is leading to a rapid expansion in the people smuggling trade, with thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa desperate to use the country as a gateway to Saudi Arabia.

On 21 September, Houthi rebels - a Zaydi Shiite Muslim group based in the north of the country - seized control of the capital Sana'a after a battle with the army and Sunni Islamists.

27 Jun 2013 description
report IRIN

HARADH, 27 June 2013 (IRIN) - In temperatures in the high forties around 1,000 Ethiopian migrants, sweating profusely, turn their backs to Saudi Arabia and start the walk south - away from the Yemeni border town of Haradh and their dreams of a new life.

On the road they silently pass others heading north, still hopeful of crossing the border.

Haradh is at the crossroads of these dreams - a potential gateway to a new life in Saudi Arabia, but getting there is becoming increasingly difficult.

02 May 2013 description
report IRIN

DUBAI, 2 May 2013 (IRIN) - The army in Yemen has started a crackdown on illegal smuggling hideouts in the north where migrants, refugees and asylum seekers from the Horn of Africa are frequently held against their will and tortured by criminal gangs looking for ransom money.

11 Apr 2013 description
report IRIN

SANA’A, 11 April 2013 (IRIN) - Record numbers of migrants from the Horn of Africa are crossing into Yemen, most of them on their way to find better opportunities in Saudi Arabia and other rich Gulf countries. But many do not make it any further. Seeking a new life, they end up unwitting victims of a -smuggling racket designed to exploit the migrants at each juncture of their journey.

21 Jul 2012 description
report IRIN

SANA'A, 20 July 2012 (IRIN) - Somali refugee Asmaa Abdullah, 35, and her three children, have been struggling to get water for more than a year in the run-down Safia neighbourhood of the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

"We arrive at al-Usaimi water tap [supported by a charity] before locals, but are pushed to the end of the queue. Sometimes I queue for three or four hours to fill my container."

But Abdullah says she dares not argue for fear that she might get beaten up.

12 Mar 2012 description
report IRIN

HAJJAH, 12 March 2012 (IRIN) - The discovery of 70 battered men and women held captive in a remote area of Yemen’s Hajjah Governorate near the Saudi Arabian border has sparked an investigation into the torture and extortion of African immigrants by criminal gangs, say local authorities.

09 Nov 2011 description
report IRIN

SANA'A, 9 November 2011 (IRIN) - Thousands of Africans continue to seek refuge in Yemen, despite continuing conflict and increasing xenophobia.

Some know the risks, but believe Yemen will still be better than the war and food crisis they left behind. Others do not know or understand the situation, say analysts.

Accusations by both the government and the opposition that African migrants are engaged in the conflict in the capital, Sana'a - an allegation widely reinforced by local media - have fuelled the situation.

05 Dec 2010 description
report IRIN

HARADH, 5 December 2010 (IRIN) - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and humanitarian partners are scrambling to help over 3,000 African migrants stranded at the Yemeni border with Saudi Arabia, where 30 migrants have died in recent weeks.

"We are seeing a dramatic increase in migrants needing help," IOM Senior Operations Officer Bill Lorenz said in a press release on 3 December.

20 Jan 2010 description
report IRIN

SANAA, 20 January 2010 (IRIN) - Yemen's Interior Ministry on 18 January announced that all unregistered refugees in Yemen must register with the authorities within two months.

23 Dec 2009 description
report IRIN

NAIROBI, 23 December 2009 (IRIN) - More people made the journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2009 than ever before, despite the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden being one of the most dangerous migration routes in the world, where the perils include drowning, sharks and unscrupulous people smugglers.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, 74,000 people crossed the Red Sea from the Horn of Africa to Yemen in 2009, 50 percent more than the number who made the journey in 2008;

309, at least, died during the crossing this year;

32,000 of the 2009 refugees were Somalis, about the same …

11 Jun 2008 description
report IRIN

SANAA, 11 June 2008 (IRIN) - The Gulf of Aden continues to be a death trap for African migrants who risk all in flimsy boats to try and reach Yemen. Recent poor weather has caused several fatal accidents, the Somali consul in Aden, Hussein Haji, said.

Dozens of African migrants have died so far in June while trying to reach the 2,500km-long Yemeni coast, according to Haji.

He told IRIN that on 8 June a vessel carrying 120 passengers - equal numbers of Somalis and Ethiopians - had been adrift in international waters between Somalia and Yemen.