A Trafficker Drowned 50 Migrants Near the Coast of Yemen on goal

Posted August 11, 2017

As many as 50 migrants from the Horn of Africa were "deliberately drowned" by a people trafficker who forced them into the sea off the Yemen coast, the United Nations migration agency said Wednesday.

The incident followed roughly a day after smugglers pushed around 120 people off a boat near the coast of Shabwa, resulting in around 50 migrants drowning - with another 22 still missing.

During a routine patrol of a beach in Shabwa, IOM staff found the shallow graves of 29 of the migrants who drowned on Wednesday.

The IOM statement says smugglers recently have begun pushing migrants out of boats out of fear of arrest.

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Those fleeing Somalia and Ethiopia, are hoping to traverse Yemen to oil-rich Gulf countries. More than 30 000 of them are minor and originate from Somalia and Ethiopia.

"A total of 1,000 migrants have been rescued since April of this year in northern Niger by the (IOM's) search and rescue operations", the agency said.

According to IOM, around 50 migrants are missing and at least five died after smugglers pushed about 180 migrants overboard off the coast of Yemen.

"Our patrolling team on the beach met with 27 migrants, who looked completely exhausted and desperate", the IOM's Chief of Mission in Yemen, Laurent de Boeck, said.

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After the smugglers dumped their human cargo, she says they turned back to Somalia to pick up more people and bring them back on the extremely risky, deadly voyage. Numerous boat's passengers were teenagers. A third of them are estimated to be women. Yemen is now going through a conflict and humanitarian crisis but the migrants go there to try to reach Europe or the Gulf states. They didn't succeed, they went back home, but the parents didn't agree with the fact that they didn't succeed so they send them back.

The group, which included Gambians and Senegalese, said they had been abandoned by their driver. "They are between 12 and 25 years old".

"This is shocking and inhumane", de Boeck continued.

The route is significantly more affordable than the West Africa route through Libya and onto Europe.

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