At Least 49 Migrants Dead, 140 Missing After Boat Sinks

UN agency says migrant boat carrying 260 went down off coast of Yemen
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 11, 2024 11:55 AM CDT
At Least 49 Migrants Dead, 140 Missing After Boat Sinks
File photo of the Gulf of Aden.   (Getty Images)

A boat carrying migrants sank off the coast of Yemen, killing at least 49 people and leaving another 140 missing, a UN agency said Tuesday. The boat was carrying about 260 Somalis and Ethiopians from the northern coast of Somalia on the 200-mile journey across the Gulf of Aden when it sank Monday off Yemen's southern coast, the International Organization for Migration said in a statement. Seventy-one people have been rescued and the search is ongoing, the group said, noting that 31 women and six children are among the dead.

Monday's 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. Yemen is a major route for migrants from East Africa and the Horn of Africa trying to reach Gulf countries for work, reports the AP. Despite a nearly decade-long civil war in Yemen, the number of arriving migrants has tripled in recent years, from about 27,000 in 2021 to more than 90,000 last year, the IOM said last month.

About 380,000 migrants are currently in Yemen, according to the agency. To reach Yemen, migrants are taken by smugglers on often dangerous, overcrowded boats across the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden. In April, at least 62 people died in two shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti as they tried to reach Yemen. The IOM said at least 1,860 people have died or disappeared along the route, including 480 who drowned. (More migrants stories.)

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