Traffickers push up to 180 migrants into sea off Yemen

by Jared Lewis August 13, 2017, 0:09
Traffickers push up to 180 migrants into sea off Yemen

According to the International Organization of Migration (IOM) almost 55,000 migrants have left African nations for Yemen since January.

The IOM also informed the media that the human smugglers had forced around 120 Somali migrants into the rough waters of the Arabian sea in Yemen coastline to avoid arrest.

Five bodies were recovered during an International Organisation for Migration (IOM) beach patrol in Shabwa province, and about 50 more people were missing.

Since January this year, the migration agency estimates that around 55 000 migrants left the Horn of Africa for Yemen, most with the aim of trying to find better opportunities in the Gulf countries. They also told the migration agency that the smuggler went back to Somalia to pick up more migrants. "This is shocking and inhumane،" De Boeck added.

"More unsafe routes are being used by smugglers", it said, after carrying out a six-day assessment of the Tenere desert and in Niger's border region with Libya, where migrants wait to cross the Mediterranean to get to Europe. Most victims were in their teenage years.

African illegal immigrants sit on a boat in the southern port city of Aden before being deported to Somalia.

According to IOM, up to 180 migrants were reportedly thrown into the sea from a boat Thursday by the smugglers.

It estimated the average age of the migrants on the boat at around 16.

The flow of migrants crossing a small sea passage from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, which has continued unabated for years, reached a record of over 117,000 migrants and asylum seekers in 2016 - up from around 100,000 the year before.

International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon tells VOA the migrants knew they could die, but were helpless to resist.

Thousands of Yemenis have been killed in a relentless Saudi bombing campaign aimed at overthrowing the country's Houthi authorities and reinstating former president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was toppled in an armed uprising.

A confidential United Nations report, seen by AFP in June, said the attack constituted a violation of worldwide humanitarian law and was most likely carried out by a Saudi-led military coalition backing Yemen's UN-recognised government.


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