IOM Reveals Yemen Migrant Route Grows by 50 Per Cent, Beats Mediterranean

December 5, 2018

The UN migration agency on Tuesday stated that the number of immigrants reaching Yemen is going to rise 50% this year, in comparison to 2017, with approximately 150,000 risking making their journey from the Horn of Africa towards the Arabian Gulf.

Joel Millman, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), stated that there are going to be more immigrants on the route than the 107,000 migrants who reached Europe this year after making the dicey trip from North Africa across the Mediterranean. He briefed reporters that this being an emergency and this event is going to be much bigger than any other movements made by the migrants in the world. In this respect, he made a reference to the migration of 3 million people from crisis-hit Venezuela over the recent time.

Joel stated that immigrants who are reaching Yemen are first traveling by land, chiefly through Djibouti, and finally going through risky boat journeys across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen. Currently, it is one of the active maritime immigration routes in the world.

A predicted 92% of the immigrants were Ethiopian and the rest were Somali. Also, one in five was minors, and they traveled alone.

Since the start of 2014, IOM has documented over 700 deaths in the Gulf of Aden, with 156 drowning this year; however, Millman mentioned that it was certainly undervalued. He added that many cases went unreported and many drowned as trafficker pushed the migrants out of the boat while nearing the land. Only when the bodies were discovered from the beaches they came to learn about it.

Millman stated the immigrants were moved by drought and unemployment in the Horn of Africa and tempted by the wages being given in the Gulf. During July this year a U.N. report mentioned Saudi Arabia had been banishing 10,000 Ethiopians per month after an amnesty for voluntary return ended in November 2017.

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