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Yemen: smuggler pushes migrants into sea, 50 dead

11 August 2017, 12:39 | Myrtle Vega

The IOM says about 55,000 people have left Horn of Africa nations for Yemen since January

The IOM says about 55,000 people have left Horn of Africa nations for Yemen since January

Around 5 people are feared dead and 50 are missing after Smugglers throw 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into Yemen sea on Thursday.

"We have the five bodies for sure. but we believe that there are certainly more than 50 who are still in the sea", Laurent de Boeck, the IOM's chief of mission in Yemen, told The Associated Press.

According to the IOM, the 29 teenage migrants are among the more than 100 who were pushed into the sea.

"This is shocking and inhumane", de Boeck said. The passengers' average age was around 16, the agency said. More than 30،000 of those migrants are under 18 and from Somalia and Ethiopia، while a third are estimated to be female. The migrants usually make the unsafe journey across the Mediterranean Sea with smugglers, who sometimes overcrowd the boats.

After the smugglers dumped their human cargo, she says they turned back to Somalia to pick up more people and bring them back on the extremely risky, deadly voyage. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous.

The International Red Cross said on Wednesday the breakdown in Yemen society had left humanitarian organizations treating "chronic disease that nobody should die of", such as diabetes.

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The organization said survivors of the tragedy, who had been hoping to transit through Yemen to reach other Gulf countries, had hastily buried the dead upon reaching the shore.

The IOM says about 55,000 migrants have left Horn of Africa nations for Yemen since January, with most from Somalia and Ethiopia.

The migration agency also released a statement saying the migrants were looking to reach other countries through Yemen.

IOM is amazed at the fact that trafficking in human beings continued as the season has strong winds in the Indian ocean.

More than 111,500 migrants arrived on Yemen's shores previous year. "Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future", de Boeck said.

Yemen itself is beset by a two-year civil war in which forces loyal to the Saudi-backed government are pitted against Iran-backed Houthi rebels. A boat carrying Somali migrants was attacked in March, killing 42.



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