The International Organization for Migration (IOM), one of the UN agencies, today expressed concern about the growing number of migrants on the “eastern route”, which crosses Yemen, a country facing its eighth consecutive year of civil war.
In the first five months of 2022, more than 27,800 people have crossed from the Horn of Africa to Yemen through this route, a figure that is already similar to all the arrivals registered throughout the past year, said IOM spokesman Paul Dillon. at a press conference.
Dillon recalled that in 2018 and 2019 this migration route was the busiest in the world (with 150,000 and 138,000 movements respectively), even higher than arrivals through the Mediterranean to southern Europe.
The current increase is explained by multiple factors, such as the lifting of mobility restrictions due to the pandemic, an improvement in climatic conditions in the Gulf of Aden and the growing insecurity in countries such as Ethiopia or Somalia, ravaged by conflicts and a prolonged drought, explained the spokesman.
The final destination of many of the migrants on this route is not Yemen, but Saudi Arabia and other prosperous countries of the Persian Gulf.
Dillon expressed his concern about the humanitarian conditions of the people who undertake these flight routes to the Arabian Peninsula due to their exposure to human rights violations such as kidnapping, exploitation, arbitrary detention under inhumane conditions and sexual violence.
“Our local partners have told us that this year more than a thousand migrants have been killed or injured in indiscriminate attacks, including women and children,” the spokesman said.
The official source asked the international community to increase donations so that the United Nations can continue its aid programs for the group of migrants in Yemen, which currently numbers some 190,000 people.
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