Hundreds of African migrants detained in Yemen's Aden

Hundreds of African migrants detained in Yemen's Aden
2 min read
23 March, 2018
More than 600 migrants who fled a range of countries along the Horn of Africa are detained and awaiting deportation in Yemen's temporary capital.
Thousands of African migrants arrive in Yemen every year [File Photo: AFP]
Hundreds of African migrants are being held in an open-air warehouse in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, reports confirmed.

More than 600 men who fled a range of countries along the Horn of Africa are awaiting deportation after making the treacherous journey.

"I came from Djibouti to work. They used to give us small amounts of food. If there is no food, we will die," an unnamed migrant said.

"If there is no solution, they will deport us to our countries or get us out of here," the man added.

Yemen has been a transit point for thousands of Africans attempting to reach wealthy Gulf Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as parts of Europe, long before the country descended into war.

But the route has never been safe, and thousands risk "assault, extortion and abuse by criminal networks, as well as the hazards stemming from the war in Yemen itself", according to UNHCR, the United Nations' refugee agency.

But the number of migrants travelling across the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea has been rising steadily despite the dangers.

In 2015, UNHCR figures said 92,000 arrived in Yemen from Africa - that number increased to 117,000 the following year, the agency said.

But Yemen has faced years of struggle after a Saudi-led coalition intervened to reinstate the internationally-recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in March 2015.

More than 10,000 have died since, and a health crisis has swept through the Arab world's poorest country, home to 22 million. There are up to one million suspected cholera cases.

The UN has called Yemen the "world's worst humanitarian disaster".