Authorities in Yemen have rounded up and detained more than 2,000 migrants, predominantly Ethiopians, according to the U.N. migration agency.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is “deeply concerned about the conditions in which these migrants, including 400 children, are being held,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
He said the United Nations was talking with Yemeni authorities to ensure the migrants receive “basic health care, food, water and sanitation” and was urging local authorities to find “safer alternatives to detention.”
The IOM said the detentions began Sunday in the south of the country, which is under the control of the internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Thousands of migrants arrive in Yemen each year, mostly from the Horn of Africa. Most of them use the country as a route to richer Gulf nations.
Earlier this week, a U.N.-commissioned report said the war in Yemen had set back development in the country by more than 20 years.
A Saudi-led coalition has been battling Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels since 2015. The conflict has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people.