At least 17 000 illegal migrants from the Horn of Africa flee to South Africa every year, most of them transiting through Kenya, a senior UN official said.
Tal Raviv, a regional programme officer at International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has said that crisis and poverty were forcing Somalis and Ethiopians to carry out dangerous journeys to better places.
“We estimate the number of people, specifically Somalis and Ethiopians, going from south central Somalia and southern Ethiopia towards South Africa is between 17 000 and 20 000 men every year,” Raviv told Reuters.
The fighting in Somalia has killed over 19 000 Somalis since 2007 and displaced another 1.5 million while southern Ethiopia is also mired rebellions against the Ethiopian government.”The journey is made possible because of limited border controls all the way to South Africa, but also the fact that you can easily get false documents and pay bribes to move from one place to another,” Raviv said.
Organized criminal groups of human smugglers located in eight African countries facilitate the illegal movement, the IOM’s report said.
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