• Thursday, Oct 22, 2020
  • Last Update : 11:38 am

Death toll at 28 after migrant boats sink off Djibouti

  • Published at 08:53 pm January 30th, 2019
Djibouti-migrants death-missing
International Organization for Migration shows people searching along a beach for survivors after two boats capsized off the coast in Godoria, Djibouti on January 29, 2019 AFP

Twenty-three bodies were recovered this morning and the coast guard continues search

The death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats off the coast of Djibouti rose to 28 on Wednesday, with perhaps 130 more still missing.

Two vessels carrying migrants departed from Godaria on the Horn of Africa nation's northeast coast on Tuesday morning but sank in heavy seas 30 minutes into the journey, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Five bodies were recovered immediately and the IOM said Djiboutian authorities found more dead on Wednesday.

"Twenty-three bodies were recovered this morning and the coast guard continues (its) search," IOM's chief of mission in Djibouti, Lalini Veerassamy, told AFP.

Two people were recovered alive and Veerassamy said "a few" more survivors arrived at an IOM facility in the town of Obock on Tuesday evening.

One survivor estimated there were 130 people on his boat, but was not able to estimate the number of passengers on the other vessel.

The nationalities of the victims remained unclear, Veerassamy said.

Located across the Bab el-Mandeb strait from Yemen and next to volatile Somalia and Ethiopia, Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

The region of Obock, from where the boat set off for Yemen, is unusual in that it sees people passing in both directions - boatloads of Yemeni refugees fleeing war cross vessels carrying African migrants seeking better opportunities.

Worst crises

In 2017 some 2,900 people, mostly Somalis and Ethiopians, passed through from Yemen, a year that saw about 100,000 migrants head into the troubled country. 

"The number of new arrivals arriving in Yemen has been continuously increasing since 2012, despite the deepened insecurity and violence following the war that erupted in March 2015," the IOM said in its 2018-2020 regional migration response plan.  

"Arrivals peaked in 2016, when over 117,000 arrived in Yemen," it added.

This migration comes despite Yemen facing one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. 

UN officials say 80% of the population - 24 million people - are in need of aid and nearly 10 million are just one step away from famine. 

IOM said that most of the journey migrants take to Yemen is by foot, walking across the scorching desert regions of eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and northern Somalia.

Once they arrive in Yemen they face torture, blackmail, sexual abuse or forced labour. 

The sea crossing itself has repeatedly proven perilous. 

Last year, at least 30 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia believed to be headed for Djibouti drowned when their boat capsized off Yemen amid reports of gunfire being used against those on board. 

In August 2017, dozens of migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia died after human traffickers forced them off two Yemen-bound boats and into the sea.


51
50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail