Boat tragedy leaves 34 migrants dead in Djibouti

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At least 34 migrants may have died after their boat capsized off the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, the International Organization for Migrants (IOM) said.

The IOM said that the boat, “operated by people smugglers”, was carrying 60 migrants escaping conflict in Yemen and who were on their way to Djibouti.

The cause of the vessel to capsize remains unclear although many journeys are currently being undertaken aboard unseaworthy vessels by migrants in the area.

The organisation has expressed concern over the tens of thousands of young African migrants making the dangerous journey from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf States in search of work.

At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic had forced many migrants to return to their countries because many labour receiving nations in the Gulf closed their borders to curb the spread of coronavirus.

The IOM said thousands are trapped in Yemen, many living in “dangerous conditions” – and were being forced to pay smugglers to get back home.

The sea route which was once a one way street now sees migrants and refugees passing in both directions, making the journey doubly dangerous.

Last month, at least 20 migrants died after smugglers pushed 80 of them from a boat off the coast of Djibouti. (Source: BBC)

 

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