UN aims to evacuate 6,750 Ethiopians trapped in Yemen war

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CAIRO – The UN refugee agency said Tuesday it aims to help repatriate at least 6,750 Ethiopian migrants from war-torn Yemen in the coming months. It applied for 7.5 million to assist in their return.

The International Organization for Migration says it has relocated more than 60 migrants to Ethiopia on three flights so far this year, including 60 unmarried children. More flights were planned between the southern Yemeni port city of Aden and the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, it added.

“Migrants transited or stranded in Yemen have suffered the most due to the country’s deteriorating humanitarian situation,” said Christa Rottenstein, IOM’s head of mission in Yemen.

Yemen’s civil war has not prevented migrants from entering the country, desperate to make their way to neighboring Saudi Arabia to find work as domestic workers, servants and construction workers.

Last year, about 27,700 migrants embarked on a difficult journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, according to the IOM.

Yemen has been embroiled in civil war since 2014, when Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to exile in the south, Aden, then Saudi Arabia.

A Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year on behalf of the internationally recognized Yemeni government, in an attempt to restore it to power.

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