Refugees drown off Yemen

At least 18 people, mostly Somalis and Ethiopians, drowned off the coast of Yemen on Sunday when human traffickers forced them into the sea in a bid to evade coast guard patrols.

    Yemen harbours the greatest number of non-Palestinian refugees in the Arab world

    A further 27 people are still missing in the Gulf of Aden, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said. An official of the international organisation in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, told AFP that 55 others had been rescued.

      

    “The 100 refugees were forced by the crew under threat (at gunpoint) to throw themselves into the sea from the boat before arrival at the port of Mukalla” on the Yemeni coast, said the official who declined to be named.

      

    Yemen has become a magnet for refugees seeking to flee war-ravaged Somalia or the ever-present threat of famine in Ethiopia.

     

    Yemen is also the Arab country which harbours the greatest number of non-Palestinian refugees - about 70,000 according to the UNHCR and double that according to the Yemeni government.

     

    Perilous journeys

     

    Still, a number perish in their bid for a better life.

     

    Some, though many of whom do not know how, are forced to swim to shore, while others are trafficked in boats that are not seaworthy and sink in bad weather.

     

    In February, a Somali boat carrying some 130 people sank near the Yemeni coast. There were only 84 confirmed survivors.

     

    The Romans knew this fertile and wealthy country as Arabia Felix (Happy Arabia), in contrast to the relatively barren desert to the north. 

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    From Zimbabwe to England: A story of war, home and identity

    The country I saw as home, my parents saw as oppressors

    What happens when you reject the identity your parents fought for and embrace that of those they fought against?

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    Becoming Ocean: When you and the world are drowning

    One woman shares the story of her life with polycystic kidney disease and sees parallels with the plight of the planet.

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    The evening death came for me: My journey with PTSD

    On a gorgeous Florida evening, a truck crashed into me. As I lay in intensive care, I learned who had been driving it.