Relief SCENE:Refugees
Puntland Arrests Human Traffickers
75 Ethiopian Emigrants Also Arrested Attempting Yemen Crossing
By AHMED SOMALI 05/21/2011
Ethiopian refugees in custody
©Somalia Report
Ethiopian refugees in custody

Puntland security forces have arrested a human trafficking gang and 75 Ethiopians planning to attempt the hazardous crossing to Yemen from Ellayo harbor, north of Bosaso.

The boats used by the human traffickers were seized in the operation, which comes as Puntland attempts to crack down on illegal migrants.

Hundreds of desperate refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia are killed each year attempting the crossing, either when their boat sinks in heavy seas or the smugglers, fearful of the Yemeni coastguard, force them to swim the last few miles to shore.

The refugees seeking a better life in Yemen are fleeing the conflict in southern and central Somalia and alleged human rights’ abuses in Ethiopia.

The 75 Ethiopians are being held in Bosaso police station and are being fed by the Danish Refugee Council.