Fishermen on Monday June 14 found the bodies of at least 25 migrants near the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab and Djibouti, announced Jalil Ahmed Ali, a local Yemeni official. They were presumably trying to reach Yemen, mainly from Ethiopia, in the hope of reaching the wealthy Gulf states.
“The fishermen found 25 bodies in the sea”, said Mr. Ali, adding that the boat had “Overturned two days ago and carried between 160 and 200 people”. The fate of other people is not known. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) confirmed on Monday the sinking of a boat in this area, adding that the exact circumstances of the accident were not clear.
The boat sank near the coast of Ras Al-Ara, in the region of Lahij (south), an area nicknamed “the hell of migrants” by NGOs. Despite the conflict ravaging Yemen, illegal migration continues, particularly from Ethiopia.
About 32,000 migrants, mostly Ethiopians, in Yemen
The rich oil-producing countries of the Gulf, such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, welcome a large foreign workforce from the Indian subcontinent or Africa. In recent months, dozens of migrants have died in the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab which separates Djibouti from Yemen, a major route for international trade but also migration and human trafficking.
Stranded in war-torn Yemen, many migrants are also going the other way. In April, at least 42 migrants died off Djibouti after their boat, which left Yemen, capsized, according to IOM. The organization estimates that 32,000 migrants, mostly Ethiopians, remain stranded in the country devastated by more than six years of civil war and plunged into what the United Nations calls the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian disaster. .