Local News

Eight Yemeni fishermen missing, possibly detained by Eritrea

National Yemen

Gulf of Aden Map

By Baseem Al-Janani

Sources have reported no updates on the condition of eight fishermen who were reported missing over a month ago on their voyage to the Red Sea.

Fathi Al-Hamidi, a brother of two of the missing fishermen, said that his brothers went fishing with six others on a boat named Al-Raida last month and that they had been heading for Al-Sawabai’e Island in the Red Sea.

“A Few days after their departure, we lost contact with them and so informed security officials, who were unable to obtain any clear proof of where were are or what happened to them,” said Al-Hamidi.

The owner of the boat, Hodeida resident Ali Yousuf Sulaiman, said that although he informed security officials in the governorate about the lost boat, they were slow to react to the problem. He was recently informed that the boat was found sunk near the coastal border of Sudan and Eretria, Sulaiman said.

“A number of Eritrean fishermen have told me that the crew had been detained in Eretria by Eritrean security forces, which suggests to me that they are still alive.”

The families of the missing fishermen, who reside in Al-Obadia village, have appealed to President Hadi to reveal what has happened to their relatives, as they, the families, remain unaware of whether their relatives are alive or not.

On an annual basis, Eritrean officials arrest hundreds of Yemeni fishermen – most of whom are from Hodeida – and confiscate their boats and possessions, often violating basic rights.

125 Yemeni fishermen who were released by Eritrean officials were found to be suffering from deteriorating health; the fishermen stated that Eritrean authorities had tortured them in a number of ways. The released fishermen said that hundreds of Yemeni fishermen remained in detention in Eritrea.


  • Eritrea wont detain any of them unless they crossed into its territory. Even if they did so, Eritrea wont torture them.

  • I am an Eritrean seaman. Yemenis cross their borders and venture to Eritrean territories all the time. No warning messages worked. Eritrea is left with only one option ++hold them and deport them to their country with more warnings. Asa far missing fisherman goes, the Red Sea is a vast land mass that is inhibited by armies, pirates, and somali and ethiopian migrants whose would do anything to cross the border to Yemen. Many Yemenis have fallen in to the hands of thse economically and politically desperate migrants and pirates. do you home work before pointing a finger to the softest spot.

  • I don't understand why Yemeni fishermen keep doing this again and again?
    I heard their government warns them to stop cross border fishing many times. They won't listen!