Ethiopian refugees stranded by Yemen's Saudi border

16th November 2010, Comments 0 comments

About 1,000 Ethiopians are stranded near the Saudi border in Yemen without food, water or shelter, a world migration group said Tuesday, appealing for one million dollars to help them.

"They're migrants who crossed the Gulf of Aden at great risk and were trying to reach Saudi Arabia," International Organisation for Migration spokesman Jean Philippe Chauzy said.

The group is among 2,000 Ethiopians in Yemen's northern border town of Haradh, many of whom are not longer able to cross the border clandestinely due to tighter security, according to the IOM.

"We need about one million dollars to continue emergency evacuations, repatriations," Chauzy told journalists.

Yemen is a major transit route for east Africans fleeing across the sea and trying to reach the Middle East, and many of those who reach Haradh are dehydrated, malnourished and in bad health.

About 320,000 Shiite Huthi rebels are also displaced in the area following a truce with the government in Sanaa in February.

Yemen launched an offensive against a Huthi uprising in August 2009 and the rebels later clashed with Saudi forces

Chauzy said attempts in Ethiopia to try to convince people about the dangers of the perilous sea crossing and other obstacles on their intended journey only had a limited impact.

© 2010 AFP

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