Government renew accusation Houthis are recruiting African migrants

2020-09-15 | Since 1 Week

African migrants in a precarious journey inside Yemen which mostly ends in catastrophes

RIYADH (Debriefer)--The caretaker government of Yemen has renewed its accusation that the Houthi Group is exploiting African migrants and sending them to warfronts.

Information minister, Muammar Al-Eryani, wrote on Twitter: "The Houthi recruitment of African migrants is a flagrant violation of international law".

He urged international agencies working on migrant issues to prevent the Houthis from using illegal migrants to serve Iran's destructive policies in Yemen and the region.

The recruitment of migrants is increasing because of huge Houthi losses during military adventures in the provinces of Marib, Jawf and Bayda, he said.

A senior Houthi leader has mocked the accusations, telling Debriefer: "Black skinned fighters come from Hodeidah and Hajjah provinces, not Africans".

Since 2015, the Houthis have recruited hundreds of black skinned people, known as Al-Muhamasheen or the marginalized. They call them the grandsons of Bilal ibn Rabah, after a companion of prophet Mohammed.

The Houthi forces in April 2020 forcibly expelled thousands of Ethiopian migrants from northern Yemen using Covid-19 as a pretext, killing dozens and forcing many others to the Saudi border, Human Rights Watch said in mid-August. Saudi border guards then fired on the fleeing migrants, killing dozens more, while hundreds of survivors escaped to a mountainous border area, it said in a press release at the time.

Houthi fighters in green military uniforms brutally rounded up thousands of Ethiopians in al-Ghar, an unofficial migrant settlement area in Saada governorate, forced the migrants into pickup trucks and drove them to the Saudi border, firing small arms and light weapons at anyone who tried to flee, it added.

Many African migrants use Yemen as a transit point en route to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

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