The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has evacuated 200 Ethiopian migrants by boat from Yemen, to Djibouti, reports said on Saturday. The evacuation involved two boats carrying evacuees to the Djibouti port of Obock.
After a 24-hour journey across the Red Sea between Al Hudaydah, in Yemen, and the port of Obock all migrants arriving at the port were provided with immediate humanitarian assistance by IOM teams.
According to the IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti Henry Glorieux, this successfully on-going operation is the result of great team-work between IOM teams in Yemen, Ethiopia and Djibouti in coordination with Ethiopian authorities in Yemen and Djibouti.
â€œWe are incredibly grateful for the excellent support received from national authorities in undertaking this first evacuation by boat,â€� Glorieux said.
For the journey, IOM Djibouti chartered two boats, in coordination with IOM Yemen to start the evacuation of Ethiopian migrants currently under IOM’s care in the Yemeni city of Hodeida.
Both vessels were inspected before departure to ensure that they met minimum standards in terms of security equipment and availability of basic services on board.
The returnees were composed of 24 females and 177 males and included 48 unaccompanied minors. IOM coordinated the sea evacuation with interlocutors in the Embassy of Ethiopia in Sana’a and Yemen’s Immigration Department.
Upon issuance of travel documentation by the Ethiopian consular services, the group of 201 migrants was due to be transported onward from Djibouti to Ethiopia by bus, in two separate convoys.
IOM said that while the caseload of stranded migrants in Hodeida is constantly changing, the organization currently estimates a remaining caseload of approximately 500 Ethiopians in Hodeida.