Nearly 150 000 migrants arrive in war-torn Yemen in 2018 - UN

2018-12-04 20:44

A growing number of migrants are flocking to Yemen, even as its dire humanitarian crisis deepens, with nearly 150 000 expected to arrive in the war-ravaged country in 2018, the UN said on Tuesday.

Yemen remains a major stop on the route for migrants from Africa to wealthy Gulf states, and smugglers are taking advantage of the chaos of the war to evade security checks, the International Organisation for Migration said.

It forecast that migrant arrivals to Yemen would swell 50% this year compared to the some 100 000 people who arrived in the devastated country in 2017.

"We are confident in forecasting migration arrivals to Yemen, a country at war, will reach about 150 000 people this year," IOM spokesman Joel Millman told reporters in Geneva.

He described it as "extraordinary and alarming" that so many people were "crossing a dangerous war zone".

Yemen's conflict, which erupted in late 2014, has brought the impoverished country to the brink of famine, and the UN has described Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

But the country remains on an established route for migrants, who typically first travel by land through Djibouti before eventually undergoing perilous boat journeys across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.

From there, they usually try to make their way to other Gulf nations, often in search of work.

IOM estimated that around 92% of the migrants who have entered Yemen this year are Ethiopian, while the rest are from Somalia.

About 20% of the migrants are minors, "and many of them are unaccompanied", Millman said.

Asked why there would be such a big jump in numbers at a time when Yemen is spiralling ever deeper into despair, he said it appeared smugglers were actually using the conflict and violence "as marketing points".

Minefields and gunfire

Smugglers, he said, promise migrants an easy passage since the authorities are "way too preoccupied with the civil unrest... to properly monitor the borders".

"Of course once they get there, it is a very different situation. There are minefields to cross, there are exchanges of gunfire," he said.

IOM could not provide numbers on how many migrants have died trying to cross through Yemen, but Millman said 156 sea deaths had been confirmed this year on the various sea passages towards Yemen.

"There is no question (the deaths) are underreported," he said.

Millman stressed that the migrant crisis in Yemen was "an emergency" on a scale that outpaces most large migrant movements in the world.

For instance, he said, "the number 150 000 is considerably more, by tens of thousands, than the forecast for all seaborne irregular migration across the Mediterranean this year".

In a bid to address the problem, IOM said it would be hosting a conference on Wednesday in Djibouti, bringing together seven countries – Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Somalia and Yemen – aimed to "ensure urgent enhancements in the management of migratory flows to Yemen and the Gulf countries".

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    un  |  yemen  |  immigration
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News
Traffic Alerts
Traffic

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

HSE Manager

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R550 000.00 - R650 000.00 Per Year

Reporting Accountant

Cape Town
Network Finance Professional / Prudential
R310 000.00 - R360 000.00 Per Year

Cluster Financial Manager

Cape Town
Network Finance
R950 000.00 - R1 000 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.