Forty-nine die after migrant boat capsizes off Yemen coast, says UN body

The International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, on Tuesday said a boat carrying more than 200 migrants sank off Yemen, leaving at least 49 dead, mostly women and children, in the latest disaster on the perilous migration route from Africa

Livemint
First Published11 Jun 2024
The report said 31 women and six children were among those confirmed dead. (A  representational image)
The report said 31 women and six children were among those confirmed dead. (A representational image) (AFP)

The International Organization for Migration, a UN agency, on Tuesday said a boat carrying more than 200 migrants sank off Yemen, leaving at least 49 dead, mostly women and children, in the latest disaster on the perilous migration route from Africa.

"At least 49 migrants have died and 140 others remain missing after a boat" carrying 260 people capsized off the southern province of Shabwah on Monday, news agency AFP quoted the IOM officials saying.

The report said 31 women and six children were among those confirmed dead, adding that 115 Somali nationals and 145 Ethiopians were initially on board the vessel before it sank.

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Meanwhile, AP reported that so far 71 have been rescued. Search and rescue operations are ongoing despite significant challenges due to a shortage of operational patrol boats.

The UN agency said the boat departed from Bossaso in Somalia at around 3 am (0000 GMT) on Sunday amid a "recent rise in migrants from the Horn of Africa travelling to Yemen." 

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It is important to note that Yemen is a major route for migrants from the East Africa and the Horn of Africa trying to reach Gulf countries for work. Despite the decade-long civil war in Yemen, the number of migrants arriving annually tripled from 2021 to 2023, soaring from about 27,000 to over 90,000, the IOM said last month.

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Around 380,000 migrants are currently in Yemen, the UN agency said.

In April, two boats sank off the coast of Djibouti just two weeks apart, leaving at least 62 dead, according to the UN agency.

The IOM said on Tuesday it had recorded 1,860 migrant deaths and disappearances along the migration route since 2014, including 480 due to drowning.

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