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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid