More than 2,000 Ethiopians are set to be repatriated from Yemen by the end of next week in an operation coordinated by the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The IOM’s Olivia Headon in Yemen told the BBC that an initial group of 120 left on Tuesday for the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
The Yemeni authorities have been cracking down on migrants who enter the country without the correct paperwork.
They are holding those migrants in what the IOM calls “makeshift detention sites” where people are being held “without basic services”.
“Lives have been lost due to disease brought on by the appalling detention conditions and one young man, shot while detained, will likely never walk again,” said IOM director of emergencies Mohammed Abdiker in a statement.
Fourteen have died from acute watery diarrhoea over the past few months.
The IOM hopes to transport the rest of those being held by the end of next week, though some logistical problems may delay the flights.