Two thousand migrants travelled to Djibouti from Yemen in the past three weeks. Picture: Pixabay
Two thousand migrants travelled to Djibouti from Yemen in the past three weeks. Picture: Pixabay

8 dead after smugglers force migrants off boat near Djibouti

By Crispin Adriaanse Time of article published Oct 5, 2020

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Cape Town - On Sunday night, the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that at least eight people had died and 12 were missing after smugglers forced migrants from a boat off Djibouti’s coast as they attempted to return to Africa from Yemen.

Djibouti borders Somalia on the Horn of Africa, as well as Ethiopia to the south. The distance between Djibouti in Africa and Yemen in Asia is the shortest where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden.

Thirty-four migrants made the journey and are all believed to be Ethiopian, according to Reuters.

The 14 survivors are being treated in Djibouti.

The migrants attempted to return to Africa after a failed attempt to reach Yemen’s neighbour, Saudi Arabia, as Covid-19 border restrictions are still in place, reports Al Jazeera.

“According to eyewitness survivors, assisted by IOM, three smugglers violently forced the young men and women off the vessel while still at sea. Smugglers are known to exploit migrants on this route in this way, many having to pay or their families having to pay large sums to facilitate travel,” IOM spokesperson Yvonne Ndege said.

Two thousands migrants travelled to Djibouti from Yemen in the past three weeks.

Furthermore, an estimated 14 000 African migrants are stranded in war-torn Yemen after being expelled by Saudi Arabia due to the country’s Covid-19 restrictions and are attempting to return home, according to the BBC.

African News Agency (ANA)

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