Puntland’s coastguard has detained more than 100 immigrants in its waters as they tried to illegally cross to neighbouring Yemen in small boats, officials have said on Friday.
The 106 immigrants of Somali and Ethiopia origins were caught by the coastguard as they prepared to embark their risky journey from Bari region waters.
Puntland coastguard commander Admiral Abdirisak Diriye told reporters that they have also arrested the smugglers who were taken to custody and might face charges of human trafficking.
‘’ Operations against human trafficking will go ahead until we eradicate it from our region,’’ he said.
Among the rescued are 86 women of mostly in their early-20s.
Every year, Tens of thousands of African migrants risk their lives to try and enter Yemen on unseaworthy boats in search for a better life. Many die atrocious deaths – beaten, thrown overboard, eaten by sharks, drowned or asphyxiated in the hold of crowded smuggler boats.
Impoverished Yemen is mainly used as a transit country, with African migrants often aiming to move on to neighbouring oil-rich Gulf nations to find work.
Published: March 13, 2015