Saudi Border Guards Accused of Deadly Attacks on Ethiopian Migrants Crossing from Yemen
According to a study released by Human Rights Watch on Monday, border guards in Saudi Arabia are said to have carried out deadly attacks against Ethiopian migrants trying to enter the country through Yemen, possibly resulting in the deaths of hundreds of unarmed migrants in recent years.
The rights organization has suggested that the true death toll may be in the thousands based on eyewitness accounts of assaults by Saudi military and supported by photographic evidence showing dead corpses and burial sites along migration routes.
Concerns over Saudi Arabia’s military troops allegedly firing on migrants have been expressed by the UN to Saudi Arabia. This is an increase in a number of attacks along the country’s southern border with war-torn Yemen.
The Human Rights Watch report was dismissed as “unfounded and not based on reliable sources” by a Saudi government official in response to the accusations, who preferred to remain nameless since he was not permitted to speak in public. He did not provide any supporting documentation. Inquiries on Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who are allegedly paying large sums of money to facilitate migrant smuggling over the border, went unanswered.
According to estimates from the International Organization for Migration from 2022, there are about 750,000 Ethiopians living in Saudi Arabia, of which up to 450,000 are thought to have entered the country without the required documentation. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of the two-year civil war in Ethiopia’s Tigray region.
In an effort to combat young unemployment , Saudi Arabia has been working with the Ethiopian government to repatriate a sizable number of Ethiopians.
Based on interviews with 38 Ethiopian migrants and four family members of people who attempted to cross the border between March 2022 and June 2023, Human Rights Watch’s study was created. These sources assert to have seen Saudi security forces use explosives or fire at groups of migrants trying to enter the border.