Expulsion of illegal immigrants [Archives:2005/888/Local News]

October 24 2005

Sana'a, 24 oct . The Yemeni authorities have ordered to expulse at least 12,000 'illegal immigrants' and 'illegal residents' detained since the beginning of the year. According to ( 26 September) newspaper, some 600 of them are women and children. the newspaper quoted one anonymous official as saying that most of them were detained as they tried to “infiltrate” the country via the eastern coast of the Shabwa governorate, the area of Yemen where most illegal immigrants arrive.

At least “11,250 are prisoners of Somali origin, while 650 are Ethiopian and the other 155 are of other nationalities,” the source said. Early in October the Yemeni security forces and coastguard arrested at least 350 illegal immigrants.

Yearly , thousands of Somalis and Ethiopians suffering poverty and insecurity, including refugees trying to escape persecution and violence, fall prey to unscrupulous traffickers in the hope of reaching Yemen, from where many seek to make their way into Europe. Many of those immigrants are known to have drowned each year.