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Human Rights Violations in Saudi Arabia: The Continued Mass Killing of Ethiopians and Yemenis at the Border

June 5, 2024

According to the Mixed Migration Centre, Riyadh has been able to carry out its abusive actions without facing any consequences due to the lack of a global response.

A recent report has revealed that Saudi Arabia persists in its relentless killing of Ethiopians and Yemenis along its border, completely disregarding international reports that have meticulously documented these atrocities. The Mixed Migration Centre (MMC) has highlighted that Saudi border authorities have not ceased their indiscriminate firing at migrants from Ethiopia and Yemen who are attempting to irregularly cross the border from Yemen during the years 2023 and 2024.

Saudi border guards keep watch along the border with Yemen in the al-Khubah area, southern Jizan province, on 3 October 2017 (AFP)

The violations committed by Saudi Arabia along the Saudi-Yemen border, including the killing of Ethiopians and the mistreatment of Yemenis, have been condemned by Human Rights Watch as potential crimes against humanity. However, the MMC asserts that the lack of international action allows Saudi Arabia to continue these violations without facing any consequences. Middle East Eye previously exposed the horrifying reality faced by Ethiopian refugees who were met with live ammunition and forced to bury the deceased in mass graves. Additionally, MEE reported that Yemeni individuals were enduring violence at the border while attempting to seek employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia.

The recent report published by MMC on Wednesday reveals that the Saudi border police have been apprehending a considerable number of migrants following unsuccessful attempts to dissuade them by using shelling as a deterrent.

2Once detained, these migrants are then transferred to Saudi jails where they unfortunately become victims of physical assault, torture, and even sexual abuse.

Furthermore, MMC emphasizes that the Saudi guards employ a range of tactics, including the use of loudspeakers, automated firing systems, and extensive surveillance, all aimed at intimidating the migrants and discouraging them from attempting to cross the border.

Over 400 killed in three months

Across three months in 2022, MMC found evidence of 430 killings and 650 injuries caused by Saudi border guards.

Shortly after the 2022 MMC report, a UN communication accused Saudi authorities of violating migrants’ human rights, highlighting that girls as young as 13 were reportedly raped by Saudi security forces.

The UN letter included a report of a clandestine cemetery in Al Khals in Saudi Arabia, where 10,000 bodies of migrants were buried, believed to have been killed in Yemen’s border area of Ar Raqw.

The updated 2024 report by MMC said that international indifference towards the Saudi-led mass shootings has allowed the crimes to continue.

Ethiopian survivors recount horror of mass killings at Saudi-Yemen border

Despite a brief storm of international outrage in 2023, MMC said that 10 months on, governments – including the US and EU countries – and UN agencies are silent about the scale of border killings.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has made no effort to conduct an official investigation, MMC said.

“So little has been done to censure Saudi Arabia, which surely can find an alternative, less cruel way of deterring the poorest of irregular migrants whose only offense is desperately wanting to be economically productive in a hugely wealthy migrant-dependent economy,” the report said.

When reports about the border killings emerged last year, the US called on Saudi Arabia to identify which members of its security forces are alleged to have killed Ethiopian migrants, the Washington Post reported.

The Yemeni border has become a major transit point for people from the Horn of Africa attempting to cross into Saudi Arabia. Many refugees and migrants rely on networks of traffickers to help them travel along the route, leaving them vulnerable to violence.

The majority of people attempting to cross the border are Ethiopians, many of whom are looking to escape civil conflict in their own country. A 2021 report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) found that more than 800,000 Ethiopians have fled the country in search of employment and economic opportunities.

SOURCE- Middleeasteye.ne

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