UNHCR News: “Eighteen people drowned and another 29 are missing and presumed dead after a smuggling boat capsized in the Gulf of Aden due to strong winds and rough seas this week off the coast of Yemen. [***] So far this year, more than 522 boats and 25,764 people have arrived in Yemen after making the perilous voyage across the Gulf of Aden from the Horn of Africa. To date, 146 people have reportedly drowned and 85 are missing at sea.”
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“Almost 150,000 migrants, [*** ] mainly from African Horn countries, have arrived in Yemen so far this year, a recent UNHCR report has said. [***] Yemen says the number of African migrants who have already reached its territories exceeds 700.000 people, a figure which the UNHRC says is exaggerated. So far this year, 131 African migrants, mostly from Somalia, drowned while trying to reach Yemeni territories through sea and 66 others went missing, according to the UNHRC.”
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UNHCR steps up efforts to stem Gulf of Aden crossings as numbers mount
UNHCR News Stories, 22 May 2009
“[***] Statistics show ever greater numbers of people are risking their lives in order to reach safety or the chance of a better life. The number of migrants and asylum seekers reaching Yemen in the first quarter of 2009 increased 30 per cent over the same period in 2008, a year when about 50,000 people successfully made the journey.
“In response, UNHCR has stepped up its efforts to deter people from getting on the smugglers’ boats in the main departure point of Bossasso, a crowded commercial town in Somalia’s northeast Puntland region with large slum areas hosting displaced people and migrants. [***] Before 2007, the majority of those reaching Yemen were young Ethiopian men hoping to find work in the Gulf States or in Europe. Today they are outnumbered by Somalis seeking to escape the violence and insecurity plaguing that country.”
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