80 African migrants feared drowned off Yemen coast

January 3, 2011

Between 35 and 40 migrants were on the second boat that capsized off the coast of Lahj province, SABA reported, citing the interior ministry.

Many of the people on board were women and children, according to the official website of Yemen’s ruling party. It said all of the migrants on the second boat were from Ethiopia.

A search is under way to locate the missing.

Yemen, seen as a gateway to other parts of the Middle East, is a common destination for African migrants fleeing economic hardship and war because of its proximity on the nearby Arabian Peninsula.

Despite the dangers of the journey, thousands of people cross the Gulf of Aden each year, according to the United Nation’s refugee agency.