Yemeni gov't deports 124 illegal African migrants as 1st batch

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ADEN, Yemen, May 28 (Xinhua) -- The Yemeni government on Tuesday announced the deportation of 124 illegal African migrants as a first batch back to their countries voluntarily.

The state-run Saba news agency reported that "the first batch of 124 illegal African migrants was flown through Aden's International Airport in cooperation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners."

A joint team of the country's Interior and Foreign Ministries supervised transferring the first batch of the illegal African migrants back to their countries voluntarily, Saba said.

It added that the deportation process came in accordance with the relevant international laws and regulations.

This is the first time that Yemen's government announce the transfer of illegal migrants out of the war-torn Arab country.

The IOM has repeatedly announced voluntary repatriation of African refugees from Yemen.

On Monday, the IOM said in a statement that over 2,300 Ethiopian migrants detained in adverse conditions in Aden, Yemen, were due to return home this week.

It said that an eight-day operation, set to begin on May 25, was delayed by rescinded flight permissions.

Since mid-April, authorities in Aden, Abyan and Lahj governorates have detained irregular migrants, predominantly from Ethiopia, in makeshift detention sites.

At the peak, around 5,000 people were held in two sports stadium and one military camp without basic services.

In Aden's 22nd of May Stadium, IOM screened and registered 2,315 Ethiopian migrants, including 150 women and 470 children, who urgently want to return home from the conflict zone.

Yemen has been plagued in a civil war between the government forces and Houthi rebels since late 2014, which has killed tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, in the impoverished Arab country.

The long-running conflict has caused the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Currently, some 24 million Yemenis, or 80 percent of the population, need humanitarian aid and protection, with some 20 million lacking security of food, according to the United Nations. Enditem

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