Boat capsize leaves 45 African trafficked migrants dead off Yemen

March 1, 2009

untitled-1Sana’a, Yemen – Forty-five Africans drowned after a boat carrying them from Somalia across the Gulf of Aden capsized in deep waters off Yemen, the Yemeni Interior Ministry said Saturday.

The boat, carrying 46 would-be migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia, capsized Friday night about 95 kilometres off the south-eastern Yemeni port of Mukalla, the ministry said in a statement.

An Ethiopian passenger and three traffickers were able to get safely to shore, the ministry said. The smugglers were arrested. The boat was making a two-day journey across the Gulf of Aden from the northern Somali port of Bossasso.

The boat was making a two-day journey across the Gulf of Aden from Bossasso, a northern Somali port.

It was not clear what caused the boat to capsize.

It is theĀ second accident involving migrants off Yemen in aboutĀ a week.

On February 20, six African migrants drowned and 11 were reported missing and presumed dead after traffickers pushed dozens of passengers overboard in deep waters off Yemen’s south-eastern coast.

Smugglers forced the 52 passengers, 40 Somalis and 12 Ethiopians, into the sea after they spotted Yemeni coast guards onshore.

At least 35 people reached shore, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) said.