News / Africa

Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen

Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen
Ethiopian Migrants Stranded in Yemen
Joe DeCapua

More than 3,000 Ethiopian migrants – who risked their lives leaving the Horn of Africa – find themselves stranded in Yemen, near the Saudi Arabian border. The migrants want to return home, but the International Organization for Migration said it has no money to evacuate them.

Lives at risk

The trip to Yemen is perilous. Migrants often hire smugglers to take them across the Gulf of Aden or Red Sea. Every year, many die at the hands of the smugglers or are robbed and left with nothing. Those who survive the traffickers or make the long journey to northern Yemen are usually hungry, exhausted or sick.

Nevertheless, many have managed to reach Yemen. The IOM says there are about 70,000 Ethiopian migrants who live in Yemen doing domestic work or employed on Khat plantations.

But while many decide to remain in Yemen, large numbers want to go to Saudi Arabia. Among them are the 3,000 migrants now stranded at the Saudi border.

“The ultimate goal of most of them is to actually go through and earn themselves a job in Saudi. Unfortunately, visas to Saudi are very restrictive and so most of them try getting across by irregular means and through traffickers,” said Nicoletta Giordano, the IOM chief of mission in Yemen.

The traffickers often abuse the migrants in the same way smugglers did in crossing the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

“The Saudi border has been perhaps more porous in the past, but with the current instability in Yemen the Saudis have certainly tightened up their controls. And so that’s why there’s a huge surge at the border and at this border town Haradh, which is smack in the middle of the desert with quite extreme weather conditions. And the migrants are among a number of vulnerable groups already hosted in Haradh and the surrounding area,” she said.

No visa, no entry

Most of those who do make it across the Saudi Arabian border are forced to return to Yemen.

“We come across desperate cases of people who’ve been returned to Yemen under duress. And who have most probably undergone quite strenuous circumstances in order to get across to Saudi,” she said.

The Ethiopian government is doing what it can to assist the migrants and has asked the International Organization for Migration for help. Since last year, IOM has evacuated about 5,000 so-called irregular Ethiopian migrants. But now, it’s out of money. It’s asking donors for $2.5 million so it can resume the evacuations of the Ethiopian migrants.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid