30/01/09 (B483) Saba / 400 immigrés arrivent illégalement au Yémen (182 Somalis et 224 érythréens), ce qui constituent le plus fort contingent depuis plusieurs mois // Over 400 illegal migrants land in Yemen (En Anglais)

About 406 illegal African migrants have landed at Yemeni coast in Al-Bandar district of Abyan governorate.

According to the information center of Interior Ministry, the African migrants were 182 Somalis, including 30 women, and 224 Eritrean refugees, including 30 women.

Security sources affirmed Yemeni coastguards didn’t received such this number of refugees coming from Africa since months.

The Somali refugees have been transported to the Kharaz camp of refugees in Lahj governorate while the Ethiopian refugees have been reserved.

Meanwhile, security authorities have seized two smuggling boats coming from the Horn of Africa and referred the boat’s owners to the official bodies in order to investigate with them.

The majority of illegal immigrants on board the ships came from Somalia. Ministry of Interior revealed that more than 1,100 Somali refugees landed in the country during the first two weeks of January.

Ministry officials estimated that the number would increase as more Somali refugees are undertaking this hazardous journey to escape their lawless homeland.

The United Nations reported that more than 43,500 illegal migrants – mostly Somalis – arrived in Yemen by boat during 2008.

In 2007, Yemeni authorities reported more than 1,400 illegal migrants were either killed or went missing while attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden.

Numerous reports indicate that smugglers are forcing refugees to jump into the water as they approach the shore, so that they – the smugglers – would not be caught by the Yemeni navy.