More than 1,100 illegal Ethiopian migrants have arrived in Yemen's southern and western port cities during the past month, intending to enter rich Gulf countries, the Yemeni interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The migrants had been transferred to a UN refugee center of the Kharaz area in the southern province of Lahj, said the ministry.
The ministry also said the number of African refugees in Yemen has amounted to about two million, warning that the continuing influx of African refugees poses a heavy burden on Yemen's limited economic resources.
The one-year political turmoil in Yemen has severely affected its security situation, sparking more battles with al-Qaida in the south and sectarian conflicts in the north, and also dragged down the economy of the impoverished Arab country.
On Friday, the interior ministry said its security forces have freed 89 illegal African migrants who had been held captive by armed men to force their relatives in Saudi Arabia to send ransom money in the northern province of Hajja, near the border with Saudi Arabia.
The African refugees and illegal migrants came to Yemen through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden on smugglers' boats, hoping to reach the oil-rich Arab Gulf countries. But Saudi Arabia have recently tightened its borders with Yemen to prevent African migrants from reaching its lands, leaving thousands of African migrants stranded in the border regions.