Stranded Ethiopians repatriated from Yemen

Ethiopians-deported.jpg

Ethiopians deported from Saudi Arabia. File photo

from ADANE BIKILA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, (CAJ News)THE repatriation of 900 Ethiopians stranded in the conflict-torn Ma’rib city in Yemen has begun.

About 126 Ethiopians were flown to Addis Ababa from the first-ever Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flight from Ma’rib.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has planned similar flights in the coming month.

IOM requires US$7,5 million to keep these flights running from Ma’rib and Aden.

“Migrants stranded in Ma’rib are living in fear.Many are under the control of smuggling groups who subject migrants to exploitation and violence,” lamented Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Yemen’s Chief of Mission.

“The cost of inaction is far greater than the cost of helping those who are stranded and desperate to leave a dire situation. We urgently need greater support from donors to help move people out of danger’s way.”

Ma’rib has been one of the main hotspots of Yemen’s seven-year conflict. The urban centre of Ma’rib located some 25 kilometres from the nearest frontline.

The governorate faces the highest levels of displacement in the country with nearly one million Yemenis displaced there since the start of the conflict. In recent years, it has also become a transit point for migrants making their way towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

An estimated 4 500 migrants are stranded in Ma’rib – unable to cross dangerous frontlines to reach their destination or held against their will for prolonged periods of time by smugglers.

Women migrants in Ma’rib are particularly vulnerable. They frequently report violations including sexual violence.

The United States State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and Norway support scheduled VHR flights from Ma’rib.

– CAJ News

 

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