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Yemeni security forces detain 5,000 African migrants in Aden Open in fullscreen

The New Arab & agencies

Yemeni security forces detain 5,000 African migrants in Aden

African immigrants in Yemen in an archive photo [Twitter]

Date of publication: 24 April, 2019

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At least 5,000 migrants have been detained by police in the last ten days while attempting to cross into Saudi Arabia, Yemeni security officials confirmed.

Yemeni security officials say police have detained at least 5,000 migrants attempting to cross into Saudi Arabia in the last ten days.

Officials said on Wednesday that the migrants, most of whom from African countries, were being held in overcrowded police stations across the southern city of Aden.

Colonel Mohammed Muti, the chief of police of the Sheikh Othman district of Aden, told the New Arab that the security operation targeting migrants was prompted by a “remarkable increase in numbers”.

He said that the migrants “enter Aden inconspicuously by sea with the help of smugglers who are active throughout the Yemeni coast.”

Aden's Security Chief Shalal Shaye says the migrants have launched a hunger strike and confirmed authorities are seeking assistance from the UN migration agency as well as aid groups.

The other officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to brief the media.

Migrants from the Horn of Africa continue to travel to Yemen in a bid to land jobs in the oil-rich Gulf despite the four-year war between a Saudi-led coalition supporting the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels.

In January 2018, the separatist Southern Transitional Council, which is sponsored by the United Arab Emirates, took control of Aden from Hadi’s government.

The International Migration Organisation says that 150,000 African immigrants arrived in Yemen in 2018.

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