IOM reports 180 migrants dead or missing in tragedy off Yemen

Anjali Sharma
GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 12th June. UN International Organization for Migration on Tuesday has reported that at least 49 migrants have been killed, including many women and children, and a 140 are missing after the boat capsized off the coast of Yemen.

IOM said that 260 people were abroad the vessel that had departed from Bossaso, in northeast Somalia, in the early hours of Sunday, bound for Yemen, about 330 kilometres (about 205 miles) away.

Mohammedali Abunajela, IOM spokesperson, said in a news release on Tuesday that “This recent tragedy 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.”

“Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as we remain committed to supporting survivors and improving search and rescue efforts in the region.”

The agency said that search and rescue efforts are ongoing despite significant challenges due to a shortage of operational patrol boats, a situation further complicated by the ongoing conflict.

The agency noted that 71 people, including 6 children, have been rescued and are being supported by IOM.

IOM has mobilized two mobile medical teams to provide immediate assistance, and its psychologists are providing mental health support.

Local community members, including fishermen, played a crucial role in the aftermath by assisting with the recovery efforts and helping to lay the deceased to rest at a cemetery.

The latest tragedy came after 2 separate shipwrecks on the same route along the coast of Djibouti, claimed the lives of 62 migrants.

IOM stressed that there has been a sharp rise in migrants travelling from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, due to political and economic instability, alongside severe droughts and other extreme weather events in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia.

The agency said that despite the ongoing conflict in Yemen, thousands of migrants continue to transit through the country in hopes to reach Saudi Arabia and neighbouring nations.

The majority are undertaking the journey rely on irregular routes or smugglers, placing them at an increased risk, including of human trafficking or drowning in rough seas on rickety boats.

IOM has documented 1,860 migrant deaths and disappearances along that route, including 480 due to drowning since 2014.

 

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