Calls for probe of Yemen's migrant centre fire‏

The leader of Ethiopian community in Yemen's capital on Saturday called for an international probe into the deadly fire that tore through a detention centre for migrants, leaving at least 44 dead.



 

In a news conference in Sanaa, Othman Gilto, blamed “negligence” by the Houthi rebels who control the capital, as well as the United Nations, which has aid agencies present in Yemen. The fire also injured more than 200 people, he said.

 

Gilto then said the migrants were demanding their human rights, from the UN and other organisations in Yemen. Some 900 migrants, most of them from Ethiopia, were detained at the facility - including 350 inside a warehouse - of the Passports and Naturalization Authority complex in Sanaa when the fire took place on Sunday, according to the International Organization for Migration.

 

At least 43 of the dead were buried in a Sanaa cemetery on Friday amid tight security. Footage from Ansarallah Media, a Houthi-run news agency, showed ambulances carrying the bodies of the victims of the fire that occurred last Sunday to the cemetery where they were buried. Women from the migrant community were seen screaming and crying while ambulances, carrying the bodies, arrived from a funeral service at a major mosque.

 

Abdallah al-Leithi, head of the Sudanese community in Sanaa, said many of the dead lacked IDs and could not be identified, adding that most "had not given their real names” on documentation before the fire. There were no immediate comments from the Houthis. Survivors and local rights campaigners say the deadly blaze erupted when guards fired tear gas into the crowded warehouse, trying to end a protest against alleged abuses and ill-treatment at the facility.