News / Africa

Deadly Sailing Season Begins in Gulf of Aden

The U.N. refugee agency says the sailing season in the Gulf of Aden has got off to a deadly start.  The UNHCR says it has received reports this week of a killing and the drowning of African migrants traveling on smugglers' boats from Somalia to Yemen.  

The sailing season across the Gulf of Aden resumes in September once the monsoon season ends.  That is when the smugglers navigate rickety boats loaded with desperate people from Somalia and Ethiopia across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen.  

That is also when tragic stories of death by drowning or at the hands of smugglers begin to surface.  U.N. refugee spokesman, Andrej Mahecic, says his agency has received reports of an Ethiopian man who was beaten to death and thrown overboard by smugglers.

He says the boat, which arrived in Yemen on Wednesday, was carrying 105 African migrants and refugees, mostly Ethiopians.

"The victim had been sitting below the deck in stifling conditions and was beaten and locked in the engine room after begging for water.  He died and then was thrown overboard," he said. "The boat he was on took some 50 hours to sail from the Somali village of Shimbrale, which is east of Bossaso in Somalia to Yemen.  On Monday, two Somali women, one of them five-months pregnant, were reported to have drowned off the coast of Yemen's Shabwa region, as smugglers disembarked passengers too far from the shore despite rough seas.  Another person is missing and presumed dead."  

According to new arrivals, there were 55 Somalis aboard the boat.  

Meanwhile, Mahecic says a separate dramatic story is unfolding on Yemen's Red Sea coast, west of Aden.  Since June, he says more than 40 corpses of Ethiopians arriving from Djibouti have been discovered along the Yemeni Red Sea shore.

In addition, he says a growing number of Ethiopian arrivals have been found to be suffering violent diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration.

"These Ethiopians began their sea voyage in Obock in Djibouti and have told our staff that people die in Obock daily, suffering severe diarrhea," he said.  "They say that Ethiopians arrive in Obock exhausted after walking for two days from the border.  They are then held there by the Somali and Djiboutian smugglers, sometimes left for days or weeks without any food or drinking water.  According to the new arrivals from Ethiopia, eight of ten wells in Obock are contaminated and the other two hold salty water.  Hunger, dehydration, salty water and severe diarrhea appear to be the main causes of these deaths."  

So far this year, the UNHCR reports more than 32,000 African migrants have arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa aboard 677 smuggling boats.  

It says some 50 migrants or refugees fleeing situations of conflict, instability, drought and poverty have lost their lives while making this perilous journey.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

China-India Border Standoff Continues as Leaders Hold Summit

New Delhi accuses hundreds of Chinese soldiers of illegally entering Indian territory in disputed region of Ladakh More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid