A crossing from Djibouti in East Africa to Yemen killed at least 20 migrants. Smugglers forced eighty people on board in the middle of the sea to leave the boat. This is reported by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which is part of the United Nations.
The boat left yesterday morning with 200 migrants, including minors. After 30 minutes, the smugglers started screaming that there were too many people on board, tell survivors to the IOM.
The IOM says that five bodies have now been recovered. Survivors are treated in Djibouti. How they managed to get rid of it alive is unknown.
It is also unclear from which countries the migrants who have died originate, but many people from Ethiopia and Somalia are crossing Djibouti. The Bab el Mandeb Strait between Djibouti and Yemen is about 30 kilometres wide.
It is the third time in six months that migrants have died on this route because of being thrown overboard by smugglers, says the IOM. In October, two similar incidents drowned at least 50 migrants. The IOM suspects its not about accidents.
Every year thousands of migrants try to make the crossing from East Africa to Yemen, and then travel to the rich Gulf States. In 2018, a boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, killing dozens of Ethiopians.
Due to the coronapandemic, there are now fewer boat refugees than in 2019, says the IOM. Then about 138,000 people made the journey and by 2020 there were 37,500. In January this year, 2500 migrants reached Yemen.