Boat carrying more than 200 migrants sinks off Yemen coast, 39 confirmed dead – Firstpost
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Boat carrying more than 200 migrants sinks off Yemen coast, 39 confirmed dead – Firstpost

Representational image.

A boat carrying more than 200 migrants sank off the coast of Yemen, killing at least 39 people in the latest disaster on the perilous migration route from Africa, a UN agency said on Tuesday.

“Tragic incident off the coast of #Yemen: a boat carrying 260 migrants sank yesterday. 39 dead, 150 missing, 71 survivors,” the International Organization for Migration declared on X, referring to Monday’s shipwreck.

The message does not specify the nationality of the migrants.

Every year, tens of thousands of migrants from the Horn of Africa cross the Red Sea in an attempt to reach the oil-rich Gulf, fleeing conflict, natural disasters or poor economic prospects.

In April, two boats sank off the coast of Djibouti just two weeks apart, killing dozens.

The IOM said at the time that it had recorded a total of 1,350 deaths on the migration route since 2014, not including this year.

In 2023 alone, it said it had recorded at least 698 road deaths, including 105 lost at sea.

The IOM said Tuesday it was “providing immediate assistance to survivors.”

– Dangerous journey –
Migrants who manage to reach Yemen often face new threats to their safety. The poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula has been mired in civil war for a decade.

Many try to reach Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries where they can work as laborers or domestic workers.

In August, Human Rights Watch accused Saudi border guards of killing “at least hundreds” of Ethiopians who attempted to cross into the Gulf kingdom from Yemen between March 2022 and June 2023, in some cases using explosive weapons.

Riyadh rejected the group’s findings, calling them “baseless and not based on reliable sources.”

In a report released last week, the Joint Migration Center said Yemen’s hospitals continued to receive migrants injured in attacks along the border and at least some killings continued.

The group, which aims to provide independent research on migration, said it had “only been able to interview a small number of Ethiopian returnees” and that comprehensive data was “extremely difficult to obtain”.

Therefore, “it is impossible to say whether proportionally the scale of migrant killings has decreased compared to a year ago,” the group said.

“However, even though central Saudi authorities had ordered border guards to reduce or stop the killings, MMC found that the killings of Ethiopian migrants by Saudi security officials continued. »

The IOM said last month that, despite the many dangers of the migration route, the number of migrants arriving in Yemen “tripled between 2021 and 2023, from around 27,000 to more than 90,000.”

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