Over 50 migrants 'deliberately' drowned off Yemen: IOM
11 August, 2017, 00:40 | Author: Irene Delgado
As many as 50 Somali and Ethiopian migrants and refugees drowned off Yemen's coast after a smuggler threw more than 120 of them overboard from their boat into torrential waters, the United Nations said Wednesday. Most of those drowned were teenagers.
The migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen, through to the especially hazardous during the current windy season in the Indian Ocean.
But economic and environmental factors in Somalia and Ethiopia, where most of the migrants come from, have left young people feeling there is no future for them at home. "Twenty-five passengers (wounded) of the boat are now being treated on the coast of Yemen", told AFP a spokesman of the organization.
"We were also told that the couriers had taken the road to Somalia to continue the same traffic and bring more and more migrants in Yemen", he added. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous. At least 22 remain missing, and suspected dead.
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"The smugglers deliberately pushed the refugees into the waters since they feared that they would be arrested by the authorities once they reach the shore", an IOM emergency officer said. Reports suggest that many Africans who arrive in Yemen are connected to the groups fighting the war.
Migrants are braving the journey despite the war in Yemen as the violent conflict means there is no central authority to stop them travelling onward.
Crossing the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea is particularly risky because of strong currents and high winds.
In this photo provided on Friday Feb. 14, 2014 by World Press Photo, the World Press Photo of the Year 2013 by John Stanmeyer, USA, VII for National Geographic, shows African migrants on the shore of Djibouti city at night, raising their phones in an attempt to capture an affordable signal from neighboring Somalia in Djibouti City, Djibouti, Feb. 26, 2013. A boat carrying Somali migrants was attacked in March, killing 42.
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