UN Agency Reports 49 Dead, 140 Missing After Migrant Boat Capsizes Near Yemen

June 11, 2024 by No Comments

A boat carrying migrants capsized off the coast of Yemen, resulting in the deaths of at least 49 people and leaving 140 missing, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported on Tuesday.

The vessel, transporting approximately 260 Somali and Ethiopian migrants, embarked on a 200-mile voyage across the Gulf of Aden from the northern coast of Somalia. The sinking occurred on Monday off the southern coast of Yemen, according to the IOM statement.

The IOM stated that search and rescue operations are ongoing, with 71 individuals rescued thus far. Among the deceased were 31 women and six children.

Yemen serves as a primary route for migrants from Somalia and the Horn of Africa seeking employment opportunities in Gulf countries. Despite the ongoing civil war in Yemen, the number of migrants arriving annually surged from approximately 27,000 in 2021 to over 90,000 in 2023, representing a threefold increase, as reported by the IOM last month. Currently, an estimated 380,000 migrants reside in Yemen, according to the agency.

Migrants are often transported by smugglers on perilous and overcrowded boats across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden. In April, at least 62 individuals perished in two separate shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti during attempts to reach Yemen. The IOM reported at least 1,860 deaths or disappearances along this route, including 480 drownings.

Monday‚Äôs sinking “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,” said IOM spokesperson Mohammedali Abunajela.