The UNHCR released its most recent estimates of the numbers of Africans who have crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea to Yemen in 2009. UNHCR believes over 74,000 people made the crossing which is estimated to be a 50% increase over last year.
Ethiopians (42,000) now make up the largest group of migrants making the crossing. In previous years Somalis were the largest group.
“According to the latest UNHCR statistics, at least 309 people drowned or did not survive the trip this year. In 2008, some 590 people died during the crossing. Many more people went missing and are presumed dead. The mixed migration route through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea is presently the busiest and the deadliest one in the world.”
“While virtually all arriving Somalis approach the two, strategically positioned reception centres in Mayfaa and Ahwar, where they receive protection and assistance, only some 9,000 Ethiopians went to these venues this year. Most press on towards the Persian Gulf states in search of job opportunities.”
Click here for UNHCR press release.