Saudi Arabia Borders Guards Accused of Killing Hundreds of Ethiopian Migrants

Saudi Arabia Borders Guards Accused of Killing Hundreds of Ethiopian Migrants

Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi

Modern Tokyo Times

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is alleging that border guards from Saudi Arabia have killed hundreds of Ethiopian migrants. This includes killing women and children.

It should be remembered that Saudi Arabia only abolished slavery in the 1960s after international pressure. Also, all non-Muslim holy places are banned in Saudi Arabia.

Reuters reports, “There are an estimated 750,000 Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia, according to U.N. studies. Many have fled economic hardship in Ethiopia, which has also seen its northern province of Tigray riven by a brutal conflict in recent years.”

The HRW report says: “Saudi border guards have used explosive weapons and shot people at close range, including women and children, in a pattern that is widespread and systematic. If committed as part of a Saudi government policy to murder migrants, these killings would be a crime against humanity.” 

France 24 reports, “Over the past few months, reports have been mounting of grievous violations on the migration track known as the “Eastern Route” or the “Yemeni Route”, which runs from the Horn of Africa, across the Gulf of Aden, through Yemen and into Saudi Arabia.”

Similar to HRW, the Mixed Migration Center (independent institution – Danish Refugee Council) stated Ethiopians were “systematically” killed “under Saudi Arabian state authority” by “security officials.”

The BBC reports, “Migrants contacted separately by the BBC have spoken of terrifying night-time crossings during which large groups of Ethiopians, including many women and children, came under fire as they attempted to cross the border in search of work in the oil-rich kingdom.”

War prevails in Ethiopia, Somalia, Yemen, and other nations near Saudi Arabia.

Nadia Hardman (HRW – lead author of the report) said: “What we documented are essentially mass killings.”

Border areas between Yemen and Saudi Arabia were described as killing zones where Saudi Arabian border guards killed Ethiopians.

Nadia Hardman continues, “I have seen hundreds of graphic images and videos sent to me by survivors. They depict pretty terrifying injuries and blast wounds.”

The Guardian reports, “The alleged killings have occurred on a major migration transit route used by people traffickers and smugglers between Al Jawf in Saudi Arabia and Sa’dah in Yemen, a region controlled by the Houthi Ansar Allah movement that borders Saudi Arabia’s Jizan province.”

It remains to be seen if G7 nations will take serious action against Saudi Arabia and if the African Union will speak out strongly.

Modern Tokyo News is part of the Modern Tokyo Times group Modern Tokyo Times – International News and Japan News – Sawako Utsumi and her website – Modern Tokyo Times artist Modern Tokyo News – Tokyo News and International News