Survivors reported that the boat sank this Monday morning, in very turbulent waters, after leaving Yemen with about 60 passengers on board.
The death toll rises to 42 after the sinking of a boat with migrants sailing off Djibouti’s coast. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed this Tuesday after eight bodies were found that among the deceased, there were 16 minors.
The shipwreck occurred on Monday morning after the boat in which some “60 migrants escaped the conflict in Yemen “sank en route to Djibouti, the IOM detailed in a statement in which it recalled that each year “tens of thousands of young African migrants undertake the dangerous journey from Somalia or Ethiopia through Djibouti and Yemen in search of work in (the countries) of the Gulf.”
“Unfortunately, the death toll has risen to 42. Among them, there are confirmed at least 15 men, eight women, and 16 minors,” informed Ivonne Ndege, IOM regional spokesperson, who revealed that three of the bodies have yet to be identified. “Fourteen people survived, and eleven of them have been transferred to the capital of Djibouti while three are being treated at our Migrant Response Center in Obock,” added Ndege.
The regional director of the IOM for the East and the Horn of Africa, Mohammed Abdiker, yesterday regretted what happened. It recalled that it is the “second tragedy of this type in little more than a month,” after the past 3 In March, a score of people drowned when smugglers dumped “at least 80 migrants” into Djibouti waters.
The traffickers responsible for this new incident are unaccounted for, Ndege said. “Stop and prosecute human traffickers and smugglers who exploit the vulnerabilities of migrants must become a priority,” stressed the regional director on his Twitter account.
On October 17, at least twelve other Ethiopian migrants, out of a group of 50, died in front of Obock after being dumped by smugglers while trying to return from Yemen, and in a similar event twelve days earlier, another eight died, and several were injured. , according to IOM figures.
Djibouti, bordering Somalia and Ethiopia, separated from Yemen by the Bab el Mandeb Strait, has in recent years become a transit country for migrants seeking work on the Arabian Peninsula. With the closure of the borders between Yemen and Saudi Arabia due to the covid-19 pandemic, thousands of migrants have been waiting in Djibouti for the moment to begin the journey.
The number of migrants using the sea route between the Horn of Africa and Yemen in 2019 exceeded the Mediterranean route’s flow for the second year in a row, with 138,000 people, mostly Ethiopians, crossing the Gulf of Aden, according to IOM.