870 more refugees found [Archives:2007/1022/Local News]

February 5 2007

ADEN, Feb. 3 ) Yemeni coastguards picked up more than 870 African refugees, mostly Somalis, over the last week of January, according to a source at the Yemeni Coast Guard Authority.

The Yemeni government automatically grants Somalis refugee status and transfers them to the representatives of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Other African migrants, however, are not given asylum status and are deported in cooperation with their respective embassies.

The source said the refugees do not belong to the Islamic courts as they contain whole families including children and women and this proves they are not militants, adding that they are trying to escape war and find a secure and peaceful place for their lives.

Yemeni Coast Guard also arrested a vessel on Wednesday with more 170 tons of commodities onboard that were entering illegally into Yemen, according to the source. He said this type of smuggling has decreased due to the continuous patrols of coast guards in the regional waters.

The controlled commodities include cigarettes, sesame, car and motorcycle parts. The vessel's crew is being investigated to find the source of these commodities.

The coast guard forces works also try to stop ships and vessels illegally fishing in Yemeni waters.

“The Coast Guard managed today to catch a foreign fishing vessel in Aden's Ras Ammran. The vessel was illegally fishing in the Yemeni regional waters