26/05/08 (B449) Yemen / Les autorités yéménites tentent de freiner le flot d’immigration illégale en provenance de Somalie. / More Somali Illegal Immigrant Drown; Yemen Seeks to Stop their Flow (En Anglais – Info lecteur)

Moneer Al-Omari (YEMEN POST STAFF)

Yemeni Coast Guard Forces pulled out the corpses of five illegal immigrants on Friday evening off Yemen’s southern coasts while they were trying to infiltrate into the country.

Official sources indicated that they were onboard a boat along with 121 refugees, of whom 15 were women, four children and 50 Ethiopians, hinting most of them arrived in state of fatigue or faint.

Meanwhile, Yemeni Immigration and Passports Authority started a campaign targeting the illegal residents and those who were moving between cities without being registered with concerned authorities.

The campaign resulted in arresting over 50 Somali and Ethiopian infiltrators, mostly in Hadramout, Sana’a, Aden and Taiz, Al-Hodeidah and Shabwa provinces.

Experts stress that there will be increased infiltrations into the country especially when the situation in Somalia is tense after the renewal of fighting between Islamic Courts Union on one hand and Ethiopian and Somali army forces on the other.

Over the last four months, about 15,300 illegal Somali immigrants have been smuggled to Yemen, of whom 360 immigrants died. Over 7,000 illegal immigrants were recorded during the same period of 2007.

In a regional conference on ‘Refugees Protection and International Immigration in Aden’s Gulf’ and held recently in Sana’a, the participants stressed the importance of stabilizing Somalia, hinting stability and peace are key factors for preventing future collective immigration and death.

They also called for regulating the whole process in a manner that ensures immigrants’ safety