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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs