Record number of Africa migrants cross the Gulf of Aden in 2011

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People wade out to smugglers' boats for voyage across the Gulf of Aden

The number of African migrants travelling by sea to Yemen reached record levels in 2011 according to the UN Refugee agency UNHCR

103,000 people made the perilous journey, more than double the previous year. At least 130 people are known to have drowned. 

With over 76,000 registrations, Ethiopians now make up the majority of those crossing the Gulf of Aden into Yemen. 

Adrian Edwards from UNHCR says the migrants suffer abuse at the hands of smugglers. 

"Instability and the reduced police presence in Yemen are giving human traffickers and smugglers more room to operate. It is also frequently preventing patrols along Yemen's shores by humanitarian teams trying to reach new arrivals before the smugglers. Reports of abductions of migrants or refugees upon arrival in Yemen persist – mostly for ransom or extortion. The main targets seem to be Ethiopian new arrivals but we have also seen Somali refugees being abducted." 

Duration 29″

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
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