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UN: Saudi Arabia expelled 17,000 Yemenis from its territories

May 11, 2018 at 12:57 am

The United Nations International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has expressed its concerns that the Saudi-led military collation in Yemen may bomb the its buses if they move African immigrants in Yemen from Sana’a to Al Hudaydah.

The IOM also confirmed that Saudi Arabia has so far expelled 17 thousand Yemeni immigrants this year. The IOM expressed its concerns that it could displace up to 700 thousand immigrants to war-torn zones.

Saudi Arabia has imposed fines, prison sentences and has been deporting immigrants who have been caught without proper identity documents in an effort to reduce the size of the shadow labour market.

Mohammed Abdiker, Director of Department of Operations and Emergencies at the organisation, said that “The organisation can say unequivocally that between January and the present time about 17,000 Yemenis have been repatriated because of their situation as immigrants in Saudi Arabia.”

He also said: “Our position is that you cannot return people to a country like Yemen, especially when you are bombing it. Therefore, is there a way in which the Saudis can exclude the Yemenis so that they have a country they can return to?”

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Living as animals

Abdiker expressed his concerns over the fate of African migrants in Yemen, many of whom are being arrested or subjected to abuse and extortion from human traffickers. They amount to about 7 thousand people each month, most of whom are from Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea. They are crossing Yemen hoping to reach Saudi Arabia.

The organisation, which helped 2,900 immigrants to return home last year, has access to three detention centres, including a Houthi-run facility in Sana’a that have been established to accommodate 100 detainees.

Abdiker asked the 258 detainees there about their hopes. He said: “I can say that 90 per cent of them raised their hands and said they cannot bear this anymore. It is not acceptable to live as animals here. Please take us home as quickly as possible.” He added that the facility now has 470 detainees.

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He said: “Getting them back home is not the problem. The problem lies in making the coalition and Saudi Arabia guarantee that they will not intercept them and will allow the organisation’s buses to travel from Sana’a to Al Hudaydah.”

He pointed out that the journey of the buses will take about a five-hour drive, and added: “For this reason, I need to get guarantees from the Saudis that they will not intercept the convoy in the sense that they will not bomb the convoy that will be sent by the organisation.”


He added: “Then I will also need Saudis to provide safety guarantees that would allow the organisation’s ships to enter the port of Al Hudaydah to carry the immigrants and transport them to Djibouti.”

“We expect to get guarantees within the next two or three days so that the organisation would start the initial process by moving the first 458 immigrants most of whom are Ethiopians,” he said.