African migrants drown off Yemen Coast

More than 40 Ethiopian and Somali migrants have drowned off the coast of Yemen after their boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden, according to UN and aid agencies in the region.

Migrants off the coast of Yemen

Migrants off the coast of Yemen

A second boat with an unknown number of migrants has also been reported missing in rough seas off the coast of Yemen.

The U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said five men among 46 Ethiopian and Somali passengers on the boat had survived the tragedy over the weekend.

Jean-Philippe Chauzy is from the International Organization for Migration.

“People continue to leave, people continue to be lured by promises that are made by organized smuggling networks that migrants will be able to travel safely to Yemen and then on to Saudi Arabia. The reality, the risks of the crossing, the abuse migrants suffer en-route are always underestimated. In some cases people leave really believing that the journey will be a safe and easy one, again the reality is vastly different as we have seen over the past 24 to 48 hours with these unfortunate migrants who drowned at sea.”

He says chronic poverty, economic and political instability in the horn of Africa was pushing migrants to pay smugglers large sums of money and undertake the hazardous sea crossing.

Filed under Today's News.
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