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Increase in infiltration feared amid Yemen chaos

Yemeni soldiers arrest an anti-government protester during a demonstration in Sanaa on Wednesday. With violence worsening in Y

Source : Ibrahim Nafie | Arab News
JEDDAH | 10 Jun 2011

With political unrest and growing insecurity in Yemen, there are fears in Saudi Arabia that infiltration attempts by Yemenis into the Kingdom may reach unprecedented levels.

There are also fears that smugglers may boost their activities along the common border, too, not to mention the many Yemenis who want to escape from war and come to the Kingdom's safety and security.

“We have dug trenches, fixed barbed wire, planted thermal cameras, introduced the system of fingerprinting (for immigrants) and intensified surveillance by security patrols in a bid to prevent infiltration,” said a border guard who preferred anonymity. “The difficult terrain of the border areas makes it difficult for the two sides to tightly control smuggling operations.”

Meanwhile, Yemeni expatriate Ahmad Abdullah, who lives in Jazan, said the difficult conditions of the Yemenis in their country has prompted them to take the risk of crossing into Saudi Arabia illegally. He said Yemenis often start their gamble from the Yemeni village of Tawwal, about 100 meters from the border and 80 km from Jazan.

“There are human traffickers who know the area extremely well. They know routes that are difficult for the Saudi Border Guard to discover,” he said.


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