At least 49 dead, 140 missing after boat carrying refugees, migrants from Horn of Africa to Yemen sinks

World Wednesday 12/June/2024 07:52 AM
At least 49 dead, 140 missing after boat carrying refugees, migrants from Horn of Africa to Yemen sinks

Mogadishu: At least 49 people lost their lives and 140 went missing after a boat which was carrying refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa to Yemen sank, Al Jazeera reported, citing the United Nations' International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The vessel capsized on Monday and was carrying around 260 people, mostly from Ethiopia and Somalia, who had set off from the northern coast of Somalia to travel 320km (200 miles) across the Gulf of Aden to reach Yemen.

Notably, refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa and East Africa are increasingly dealing with the dangerous journey to reach Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the region via Yemen, as reported by Al Jazeera.

The IOM issued a statement on Tuesday, stating that 71 people had been rescued, eight of whom were taken to hospital. Moreover, the people who have died included, at least six children and 31 women.

Earlier in April, at least 62 people died in two shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti as they tried to reach Yemen.

The IOM further said that at least 1,860 people have died or disappeared along the route, including 480 who drowned.

More refugees and migrants are taking the route despite the devastating effects of a nearly decade-long war in Yemen, which erupted after the Houthi group rebelled and took control of large areas of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, Al Jazeera reported.

However, the migration flow has been undeterred in the aftermath of Israel's war on the Gaza Strip, as well.

IOM spokesperson Mohammedali Abunajela said that the sinking of the boat on Monday, "is another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address urgent migration challenges and ensure the safety and security of migrants along migration routes."

For months now, the Iran-aligned Houthis have carried out attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Gulf of Aden, demanding that Israel end the war on Gaza, with the United States and the United Kingdom responding with air raids on Yemen in an effort to protect international interests, reported Al Jazeera.

Last month, the IOM highlighted that the number of migrants arriving in Yemen has tripled annually from 2021 to 2023, soaring from about 27,000 to more than 90,000.

Moreover, the agency reported that about 380,000 migrants are currently in Yemen.