Monday September 3, 2018
IOM says around 55,000 migrants have left the Horn of
Africa headed for Yemen since the start of the year, most aiming to find
work in Gulf countries.(Reuters Representative Photo)
At least 33 African migrants drowned off the eastern coast of Yemen
after smugglers operating the boat forced the passengers into sea, the
spokesman of International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Yemen
told Xinhua Sunday. He said the 33 migrants were part of 360 African refugees and migrants overcrowded onboard two small boats.
"The victims, including 22 men and 11 women,
drowned on Wednesday off the Yemeni southeastern coast of Shabwa," the
spokesman Saaba al-Mualemi said.
smugglers of one of the boats opened fire and forced the passengers to
jump out of the boat few kilometers away from the shore," al-Mualemi
said, adding that some managed to swim and survived, while "Yemeni
rescue teams pulled the 33 victims."
In May, about 46 African refugees drowned off Shabwa, according to the IOM.
Humanitarian situations have been deteriorated in Yemen since the poorest Arab country fell in deadly civil war in late 2014.
African refugees and migrants, mostly from Somalia and Ethiopia, have
frequently fled their countries in the horn of Africa to Yemen, from
which they later infiltrate through mountainous and desert borders to
neighbouring oil-rich Arab Gulf states for better living conditions or