Yemen orders arrest of colonel who oversaw notorious detainee center

African migrants lay on the ground under a tarpaulin at a makeshift shelter in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. (AFP/file)
Updated 19 April 2018
0

Yemen orders arrest of colonel who oversaw notorious detainee center

  • The former director of the African refugee center is accused of human rights violations and rape of African migrants
  • More than 87,000 people arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa in 2017 alone — UNHCR

ADEN: Yemen’s interior minister on Thursday ordered the “immediate arrest” of an Aden-based colonel, citing allegations of rape against African detainees that occurred under his watch.

Interior Minister Ahmed Al-Misri “directed the relevant security services to immediately arrest Col. Khalid Al-Alwani, the former director of the African refugee center, and refer him for investigation over human rights violations and cases of rape against African migrants,” a statement on the ministry’s website said.

Al-Alwani was suspended from his role overseeing the Buraika migrant detention center in mid-March but continued to serve as a police chief for the Mualla district in the southern port of Aden.

The ministry said it had already pledged to carry out a full investigation and take legal action against those found guilty of abuses “regardless of whether they are members of the ministry.”

Human Rights Watch published a report on Wednesday saying Yemeni government employees had “tortured, raped, and executed” migrants and asylum seekers at the Buraika migrant detention facility in Aden. Migrants held at the facility — in use since early 2017 — were denied refugee protection and often deported en masse into rough seas, the watchdog said.

The UN refugee agency published a parallel report corroborating the findings and calling for “unfettered access” to detainees.

Last year, more than 87,000 people arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa, according to the UNHCR.

Yemen’s government is based in Aden, having been driven out of Sanaa by Houthi rebels who overran the capital in 2014.

Nearly 10,000 people have since been killed in Yemen’s conflict, which has unleashed what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.


Egypt says security forces killed 14 militants in Sinai

Updated 23 min 32 sec ago
0

Egypt says security forces killed 14 militants in Sinai

  • Egyptian forces said their offensive involved clashes with Islamic militants in desert areas outside the city of el-Arish

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces say they’ve killed 14 militants and seized a ton of explosives in an operation in the restive northern part of the Sinai Peninsula.
They said on Sunday that their offensive involved clashes with Islamic militants in desert areas outside the city of el-Arish, adding that the extremists had intended to plant roadside bombs in areas between there and the cities of Rafah and Sheikh Zuweyid.
Other weapons caches including explosives were found in the more central Sinai Jabal Al-Halal mountain area.
The officials spoke anonymously as they weren’t authorized to brief reporters.
The army has been battling extremist insurgents led Daesh militants in north Sinai for years. The area is off limits for journalists, diplomats and other observers so information from there cannot be independently verified.