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Migration Refugee Crisis Unfolding in Yemen, Djibouti

The International Organization for Migration said about 10,000 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, make the long, dangerous trek across the blistering hot desert to Djibouti every month

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FILE - An illegal immigrant from Ethiopia covers his face as he waits with others for a boat to cross into Yemen outside the town of Obock, north Djibouti.(VOA)
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Geneva, October 16, 2016: The International Organization for Migration warns a migration refugee crisis unfolding in Yemen and Djibouti is having a serious impact across the Horn of Africa.

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The International Organization for Migration said about 10,000 migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, make the long, dangerous trek across the blistering hot desert to Djibouti every month. From there they transit through war-torn Yemen to Saudi Arabia in search of work.

The IOM said most of the migrants are young men. About 30 percent are unaccompanied minors, some as young as 11. It said very few women are to be seen.

Speaking by telephone from Obock, Djibouti, IOM Director for East and Horn of Africa, Jeffrey Labovitz, said the women are largely invisible because smugglers take them to Saudi Arabia by car to work as domestic servants.

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“It is much more clandestine and organized,” he said. “And so we are not seeing them. But, it also means in terms of protection, we do not know what is going on at all.”

Labovitz said Yemen recently began deporting Ethiopian migrants to Djibouti. He said it appears thousands are likely to be deported in the near future and called such a prospect “very worrying” for a “small country like Djibouti.”

“What we are seeing right now, too, in Yemen is that in the government areas, they are asking us urgently to provide food and services to over 4,000 individuals in detention,” he said. “And we also hear in the coalition areas that there are several thousand who may be deported soon. We do not know.”

Labovitz said the IOM will not be able to handle such a huge surge of migrants. He said the Migration Response Center, the transit center run by the IOM and the Ministry of the Interior in Obock can take care of about 100 migrants at one time. Currently, the center is hosting between 600 and 700 stranded Ethiopian migrants, he said.

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Djibouti could soon be facing a massive surge of migrants, creating a humanitarian crisis, added Labovitz. To make matters worse, he said the IOM’s voluntary return program is largely on hold because most of the Ethiopian migrants have no documents and the IOM is strapped for cash.(VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google's new tool can help you make our planet healthy. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?