Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Media blather about Sepp Blatter

Read more

DEBATE

After Blatter: Can FIFA clean up its act? (part 1)

Read more

DEBATE

After Blatter: Can FIFA clean up its act? (part 2)

Read more

FACE-OFF

Sarkozy's 'The Republicans' party: Disunited they stand?

Read more

ENCORE!

Film Show: 'In the Shadow of Women' and 'San Andreas'

Read more

FOCUS

Greenpeace struggles after India freezes bank account

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Shiite militias on the frontline in Iraq

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

FIFA's Blatter steps down amid South Africa 2010 World Cup bribery claims

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

FIFA's sponsors welcome Blatter's resignation

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2009-12-30

Yemen, the new Eldorado ?

Every day on the southern coast of Yemen, illegal boats drop off men and women running from war and poverty in Africa. But they’ve come to one of the poorest places on earth.

We’re standing on a beach in southern Yemen, early one November morning. On the opposite side of the Gulf of Aden lies the Horn of Africa, one of the most troubled regions on earth, racked by civil war and poverty. Those who can pay for their way out, make their way to Yemen. Seventy dollars buys them a spot on the next boat out. Many are beaten on the way, sometimes women are raped, and all too often - passengers drown. Those who reach Yemen will have to start a new life from scratch.
The sea is calm this morning, it is high season for illegal boats crossing into Yemen. Last night, we heard a motor boat travelling parallel to the beach. There was no light, no noise on board except for the engine: probably a smuggler using the cover of night to carry his human cargo.
 
Before sunrise, we meet up with a Yemeni charity, tasked with finding and sheltering Somali immigrants. We drive up and down the coastline, looking for what the United Nations call “new arrivals”. In a cemetery along the way, we number 41 tombstones – that’s how many bodies have washed up on beaches in this area since May- and spot five empty graves. They won’t stay empty for long: high season means more people are bound to drown over the coming weeks.
 
Mid-morning, several dozen Africans -exhausted, famished and frightened- walk out of the bushes where they spent their first night in Yemen. They were probably on board that boat we heard last night. They’re all Somali, all running away from the ongoing civil war. “We almost died, says Dahaba, 40 years old. When they dumped us overboard, we were still very far from dry land. Some of the passengers knew how to swim, but others like me…we nearly drowned.”

There were fourty passengers on the boat. By chance, they all survived. But their journey isn’t over. Ethiopians migrants will have to hide: they’re not welcome in Yemen. Somalis are allowed to stay, but what life can they build here? Few of them will find a job. Many will end up begging on the streets. Some will try to walk 500 kilometres to neighbouring Saudi Arabia where job prospects are better. This edition of Reporters tells the story of their odyssey.

 

By Karim HAKIKI , Cyril VANIER

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2015-05-29 Iraq

Video - Abu Azrael: ‘Iraq’s Rambo’

In the Iraqi army and on social networks, he’s an icon. Abu Azrael, a Rambo-like Shiite militiaman, has helped push back the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq. Our reporters went...

Read more

2015-05-21 Thailand

A year after coup, Thai opposition resists junta rule

On May 22 last year, Thailand’s military seized control of the country after months of protests against the democratically elected government of Yingluck Shinawatra. Since then,...

Read more

2015-05-14 Jacques Chirac

Are there lessons to be learned from Chirac’s foreign policy?

20 years after Jacques Chirac was voted into power, how should we view the foreign policy of a president who famously said "non" to the US war on terror?

Read more

2015-05-08 Colombia

Colombia’s toxic war on drugs

Colombia is one of the world’s largest cocaine-producing countries. To fight coca production and weaken the FARC guerrilla, whose main source of revenue is narcotics trafficking,...

Read more

2015-04-30 Syria

Syria: On the trail of looted antiquities

As the war in Syria enters its fifth year, the trafficking of looted antiquities is adding a new dimension to the tragic conflict. Many Syrian artefacts are smuggled across the...

Read more