Efforts to control African migrations to Yemen [Archives:2007/1047/Local News]

May 3 2007

Shabwah, May, 2 ) During the last two days, Yemeni coastguards arrested 130 African migrants, said official website.

According to 26 September Newspaper, which issued by Yemen Armed Forces, the coastguards arrested the migrants when they tried to enter Yemeni territories illegally.

The newspaper quoted local source that the displaced reached the coasts of Shabwah on three batches of 84 males, 34 females, and 12 children.

The sources pointed out that the displaced have been transferred into Kharaz camp for refugees in cooperation with the representatives of the High Commission for the Refugees Affairs after they have gathered in Meifa'a camp.

The High Commission for Refugees in Geneva announced recently that 18 Africans died in a precarious journey crossed by refugees from Puntland, northeastern Somalia, to Yemen across the Gulf of Aden which conducted at the hands of smugglers, revealing that every one of the displaced persons paid $ 100 in return for crossing the Gulf of Aden.

In this regards, The Somali consulate in Aden, stated this week to IRIN that the number of smugglers' boats carrying African migrants from Somalia to Yemen could decrease in future as the authorities in the self-declared autonomous region of Puntland, , step up anti-trafficking actions.

He explained that Somali forces in Puntland would be able to reduce the number of smugglers' boats reaching Yemen, however he added that despite the Puntland authorities forming a task force in December, during 2007, reports indicate that at least 200 people died off the coast of Somalia.

Puntland has said many times that it is tackling the smugglers. It has made a number of arrests and confiscated boats and trucks but says it needs international help if it is to do more.

Somalia's general consul in Aden, Hussein Haji Ahmed, told IRIN that Somali forces are being trained to stop smuggling operations and illegal fishing. He said monitoring operations should be beefed up to outflank the smugglers.