By Yemen Times,
Recent statistics issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) say that approximately 50,000 African refugees have arrived in Yemen since the beginning of 2013 through the end of July.
The breakdown of statistics are roughly 42,000 Ethiopians, 8,000 Somalis and a small minority of refugees from other nations.
African migrants often find themselves trapped in Yemen on their way to richer Gulf nations-predominately Saudi Arabia-in search of work.
The Haradh area on the Saudi border is filled with thousands of migrants living in dire conditions with very little food or shelter, who have failed to cross the border, international organizations say.
Around 70,000 migrants are believed to be in the Haradh area, according to Colonel Abdulla Al-Zorqa, the director of the deportation department in the Emigration and Passports Authority.
Last week the International Organization for Migration (IOM) deported over 300 Ethiopian migrants from the Haradh area as part of their Assisted Voluntary Return Program for refugees who ask to be repatriated.
“Children, women and elders were among the repatriated Ethiopians,” said Saba Al-Malme, the deputy head of IOM in Yemen.
Al-Malme described the harsh conditions that many migrants face.
“Some of them were blackmailed and some women were raped by armed men,” he said.
Al-Zorqa said his authority has deported over 6,000 Ethiopians since the beginning of the year at the expense of the Yemeni government.
IOM reports having deported around 20,000 Ethiopian refugees since the Assisted Voluntary Return Program began in 2007.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –