Harrowing journeys from Africa to Yemen endanger migrants' lives
November 13, 2019
Credits: Photo: AP
Zahra struggled in the blue waters of the Gulf of Aden, grasping for the hands of fellow migrants. Hundreds of men, women and teenagers clambered out of a boat and through the surf emerging, exhausted, on the shores of Yemen.
The 20-year-old Ethiopian saw men armed with automatic rifles waiting for them on the beach and she clenched in terror. She had heard migrants’ stories of brutal traffickers, lurking like monsters in a nightmare. They are known by the Arabic nickname “Abdul-Qawi” — which means “Worshipper of the Strong.”
“What will they do to us?” Zahra thought.
She and 300 other Africans had just endured six hours crammed in a wooden smuggling boat to cross the narrow strait between the Red Sea and the gulf. When they landed, the traffickers loaded them into trucks and drove them to ramshackle compounds in the desert outside the coastal village of Ras al-Ara.
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