UNHCR: 16 Drowning Deaths in Gulf of Aden

UNHCR reports on the most recent known deaths in the Gulf of Aden over the past week.  The victims were mostly Somalis attempting to reach Yemen.  In one incident involving a sinking of a boat at least 15 are known to have died.  “The survivors say that during the voyage they saw a cargo vessel and foreign naval ship. They say that the naval ship approached their boat but ignored their cries for help. This is disturbing. UNHCR appeals to all shipmasters in the Gulf of Aden to uphold the longstanding tradition of rescue at sea and helping vessels in distress.”

“UNHCR is alarmed by a growing number of deaths in the Gulf of Aden this year. Eighty-nine people are known to have drowned in January and February alone – compared to 15 only during the whole of 2010. We also note with the great concern the resurgence of violence and inhumane treatment by smugglers of the refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants that they are transporting. The deadly record for the first three months is a stark manifestation of this trend.  More than 6,500 Somalis and 18,800 Ethiopians have arrived in Yemen by boat so far this year.”

Click here for UNHCR statement.

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Filed under Gulf of Aden, News, Somalia, UNHCR, Yemen

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