‘Hundreds died’ off Yemen coast

(Assisted suicide for some, a litlle tap overboard for others, and the rest? well sometimes boats sink while being towed, who’s to say what happens on open seas with no cameras in sight. it’s the word of "illegals, law breakers", against  the word of law enforcing, border patroling, law abibdibg, valued citizens, aint it?). 

 

‘Hundreds died’ off Yemen coast

Map of the Gulf of Aden

At least 367 people have died and 118 are missing after trying to reach Yemen from the Horn of Africa so far this year, the UN refugee agency says.

Most of those who died were forced off the boats by smugglers, drowning in deep waters, said the UNHCR.

Some 8,600 smuggled people have nevertheless arrived in Yemen this year – a 30% fall since 2006.

People are fleeing poverty and unrest, mostly in Somalia or Ethiopia, to seek a better life in the Middle East.

Ruthless smugglers

"Many of those who lost their lives, after paying a fee of $50 (£25) to make the perilous voyage, were forced by smugglers to disembark offshore, while still in deep water and drowned trying to swim to shore," the UNHCR said.

Boats in Bossaso

Many boats in the Somali port of Bossaso are equipped to carry smuggled people

"Others were beaten to death by club-wielding smugglers, or attacked by sharks after being thrown overboard. Many bodies were buried on Yemeni beaches by local fishermen."

Many embark in the Somali port of Bossaso, in boats that are often unsafe, at the mercy of ruthless smugglers.

The traffic across the Gulf of Aden is now suspended due to the rough seas at this time of year.

But the UNHCR warns that smuggling continues unabated in the Mediterranean.

"Despite a drop in irregular arrivals in Italy by 31% compared to the first six months of last year, the number of dead and missing – at least 200 in the Strait of Sicily in June alone – shows how dangerous it has become to cross the Mediterranean."

The solution to this crisis, according to the UN agency, lies not only in cracking down on the smugglers, but also in tackling the causes of persecution, poverty and conflict that prompt so many people to flee their homes.

SEE ALSO
Yemen fired on refugees, says UN
14 Dec 06 |  Africa
Somalis drown on Yemen crossing
04 Sep 05 |  Africa
Hundred migrants feared drowned
10 Mar 05 |  Africa

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BBC NEWS | Africa | ‘Hundreds died’ off Yemen coast

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