Dozens of African migrants were seen arriving on the shores of Ras al-Ara, in the Yemeni region of Aden on Thursday, despite the country being in what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Migrants could be seen walking on the beach, being transported in the back of a pick-up truck and lying in Ras al-Ara hospital.
After Europe started cracking down on migrant routes across the Mediterranean, the journey over the Red Sea to Yemen is now the busiest maritime migration route in the world, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Around 138,000 people reportedly made this journey last year from the Horn of Africa.
«The phenomenon of illegal immigration along with the increase of smugglers led to great pressure on the population in the region and the population of Yemen in general,» said Mutahar Youssef, Director of Ras Al-Ara Hospital. Youssef went on to say that migrants come «specifically from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Starting from there, they reach the coast of Yemen and Ras al-Ara is one of the Yemeni coasts that Africans reach on a daily basis.»
Mohammed Hussain, a migrant from Ethiopia, explained that their hope was to reach Saudi Arabia to work on a farm. Locals reportedly say that most of the migrants are unaware of the fact that Yemen is in a middle of a civil war and struggling to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the UN, Yemen has some 24 million people requiring aid and more than 3 million displaced living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.