Smugglers throw migrants in Yemen Sea, 5 die, 50 missing

11 August, 2017, 00:42 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • Up to 50 teen migrants 'deliberately drowned' off Yemen

Five bodies had been sighted and 50 other boat migrants were still missing "presumed dead", a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration (IOM, ) the UN-affiliated agency based in Geneva told Reuters on Thursday.

According to survivors' testimonies, the smuggler pushed them to the sea after he saw men he perceived as "authority types".

Then they "simply went back to where they came from to pick more migrants and try to smuggle them into Yemen, again".

"This is shocking and inhumane" de Boeck added. The statement mentioned that the average age of the migrants was 16.

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Around 55,000 refugees have left the Horn of Africa nations for Yemen since January, with most from Somalia and Ethiopia aiming to find work in the Persian Gulf countries, according to the IOM.

More than 30,000 of those migrants are under age 18 and from Somalia or Ethiopia, while a third are estimated to be female. The migrants usually make the risky journey across the Mediterranean Sea with smugglers, who sometimes overcrowd the boats. The survivors told officials of IOM in Yemen that smugglers have returned to Somalia to bring more migrants to Yemen from the same route.

International Organization for Migration spokeswoman Olivia Headon tells VOA the migrants knew they could die, but were helpless to resist.

People who survived the traumatic ordeal reported to authorities that human smugglers forced them into the sea just before reaching Yemen's shores.

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Currently, 22 migrants are reportedly still missing and unaccounted for. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.

Windy season in the Indian Ocean makes the trip especially risky.

As per reports, more than 111,000 migrants arrived on the shores of Yemen previous year and in 2015 the figure was 100,000. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future.

Years of fighting between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite Huthi rebels allied with Iran have been compounded by a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 2,000 people and the looming threat of starvation.

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He's also on pace to be the first player with 40 home runs at age-21 or younger season since Eddie Mathews did it in 1953. The Dodgers will be off on Monday as they travel to Phoenix where they will face the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

In March, a helicopter opened fire on the vessel carrying over 140 Somali passengers in the Red Sea off the Yemen coast, killing 42 civilians and wounding another 34.

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