Saudi Arabia is building a 1,000-mile fence to keep illegal immigrants and gun and drug smugglers from Yemen out of the country.

The fence is planned to stretch from the Red Sea coast in the west to the border with Oman in the east to seal entry to Yemeni intruders.

Saudi Arabia planning to build 1,000-mile fence
Saudi Arabia planning to build over 1,000-mile fence across its Yemeni border to seal Yemenis from entering the country illegally. Reuters

The first section of the fence has been met with only limited success. There has been a slowdown in illegal crossovers from Yemen but numbers have not stopped entirely.

A BBC report suggested that smugglers were bribing border security forces or finding secret paths into Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia planning to prevent illegal immigrants from Yemen
Protesters wave their shoes as they demonstrate regarding the treatment of Yemenis in Saudi Arabia, outside the Saudi embassy in Sanaa 2 April, 2013 Reuters

Border official Lt Col Hamed al-Ahmari said that the fence was being erected as the security situation on the Yemeni side deteriorated. International analysts have claimed that the country has become a haven for al-Qaida militants since Islamist terrorists wrested control of southwest Yemen from the government a year ago.

Drug and gun smuggling from Yemen into Saudi Arabia is still rising. In a crackdown in January, Saudi authorities deported nearly 200,000 foreign workers. According to a report in The National, deported Yemenis were "thrown into trucks like sheep" in Saudi to solve their own unemployment crisis. Competition for jobs with locals was also behind the crackdown as the Saudi unemployment rate has escalated to 12 percent.

Until the 1980s, Yemenis were given free access to work in Saudi Arabia. But in 1990, Saudi deported nearly two million Yemeni workers when Yemen backed Saddam Hussein in the First Gulf War.