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HomeEuropeYemen’s human traffickers prey on Ethiopian migrants

Yemen’s human traffickers prey on Ethiopian migrants

They are kidnapped and tortured by gangs in Yemen to extort ransoms from their families

Ethiopian migrants wait to be evacuated at a departure centre in the western Yemeni town of Haradh, on the border with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, on Thursday/ Gulf News
Ethiopian migrants wait to be evacuated at a departure centre in the western Yemeni town of Haradh, on the border with Saudi Arabia and Yemen, on Thursday/ Gulf News

By William Davison
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia

(Gulf News) Sintayehu Beyene left Ethiopia planning to earn money to begin a carpentry business — he ended up captive in Yemen where Kalashnikov-wielding traffickers stole what little he owned.

Grabbed from a boatload of migrant workers as it landed on a Yemeni shore, he says the armed gang whisked him inland to a desert camp. Beaten and detained for nine days with about 30 other people, he was forced to hand over the 1,400 Ethiopian birr ($72, Dh264.24) he was carrying before being released. He crossed to neighbouring Saudi Arabia, where wages are sometimes more than double the rates paid in Ethiopia, only to be deported a month later when authorities cracked down on illegal migrants.

“They robbed and beat me,” Sintayehu, 31, said in a May 22 interview in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, recalling his treatment at the camp in northern Yemen five months ago. “They took all the money I had.” Read more…

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