The coastguard service of the Yemen' internationally recognized government of Yemen said on Friday it had foiled the smuggling attempt of dozens of Africans off the coast of the Burayqa district of Aden province.
A security patrol seized a "ship" led by five Yemenis, carrying 144 people of African nationality, 13 km from the coast of Burayqa, heading to Abyan province, the Coast Guard posted on its Facebook page seen by "Debriefer" news agency.
The Department added that its patrol seized the Africans during the performance of their normal functions in securing and control of the coast, noting that they were handed over to the Department of Security of Aden, to take the necessary action.
It reported that the naval security had detained the ship and its crew for interrogation.
During the first three months of 2019, Yemen received more than 37,000 African unofficial refugees, according to IOM statistics.
Officials at the Yemeni internationally-recognized government has warned of health, environmental catastrophe if the huge floods of African refugees continue, calling the international community and humanitarian groups to help cope with this crisis in a war-torn country.
The continual influx of refugees from the African Horn into the southern city of Aden and neighboring governorates will lead to wide spread of epidemics and diseases, the director of the national center for training at the Yemeni official ministry of health warned, as some of the refugees bear serious diseases like dengue fever.
Last week, more than 3,000 Ethiopian refugees were moved temporarily to the Aden-based al-Mansoura Stadium, with most of them suffering difficult health and humanitarian conditions, Riam al-Bakri added.
General Khaled al-Qamli, head of Yemeni official coastguard authority, has labeled massive illegal migration as "source of worry and threat for the Yemeni national security."
Unofficial migrants are at risk of being "exploited in trafficking drugs and arms from African Horn to neighboring and European countries," he told reporters, accusing Houthis of using migrants in "building roads and barriers and in fighting.'
The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, triggering what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Last March, the UNHCR said 150,000 African refugees arrived in Yemen throughout 2018, despite conflict and resultant risks.
90 percent of the refugees were from Ethiopia, the rest from Somalia, the organization tweeted then, noting that most of them were unaccompanied children.
Yemen serves as a transit for African migrants and refugees, with most of themlooking for GCC states, Saudi Arabia in particular, as final destination.
It hosts some 280,000 refugees, most of them from Somalia, according to UN previous data.