The UNHCR reported on 10 February that at least 11 persons drowned and 34 are missing after their boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden. The boat left Somalia for Yemen on 4 February, became disabled and drifted, and then capsized on 8 February in bad weather. UNHCR reported that “[s]hocking details came to light [on 9 February] as survivors recounted to local authorities and our partners how smugglers forced 22 passengers overboard soon after the engine failed. … So far, 11 bodies have been recovered on beaches around the village of Ceelaayo some 30 kilometers west of Bossaso. Locals also found 13 survivors, including two women and a teenage boy and girl….”
This latest disaster occurs after an almost 100% increase in the number of refugees, asylum-seekers, and migrants crossing the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from Africa to Yemen in 2011 compared to 2010. 103,000 migrants are estimated to have made the sea crossing in 2011 compared to an estimated 53,000 in 2010. 130 persons are known to have drowned in 2011.
Click here for UNHCR report.
Click here for my last post on the 2011 statistics.