34 Migrants Feared Dead in Djibouti Boat Mishap

According to the the regional head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), 34 migrants had died after their boat capsized off Djibouti on Monday

Survivors reported that the boat capsized in rough seas at around 4:00 am (0100 GMT) after leaving Yemen with around 60 passengers on board.

 IOM’s Director for East and Horn of Africa, Mohammed Abdiker, disclosed the migrants were being transported by  human smugglers. This is the second such tragedy in just over a month. In March, 20 died & several were injured.

There were “many children” among the bodies found, the first official said, and survivors are receiving treatment from the IOM and local authorities.

It follows a similar accident on March 4 when 20 people drowned because smugglers threw dozens of migrants overboard during a journey between Djibouti and Yemen across the Gulf of Aden.

The Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which separates Djibouti from Yemen, is a place of heavy traffic of migrants and refugees, where Yemenis flee the war and Africans go to try their luck in the Arabian Peninsula cross.

Two similar incidents were reported in October, resulting in the deaths of at least 50 migrants.

Addressing how this incident can be prevented next time, Abdiker said apprehending and prosecuting human traffickers and smugglers who exploit the vulnerabilities of migrants must become a priority.

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