06/07/2018, 10.11
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46 Ethiopians die in migrant shipwreck

The victims include 37 men and nine women. Originally there were a hundred people on the boat, without life jackets. The traffickers had left from Bosaso. IOM chief: "shameful" tragedy, which "must end". Last year over 100 thousand people traveled the route.

Sana'a (AsiaNews / Agencies) - At least 46 migrants left Somalia and headed for Yemen, drowned when their boat capsized off the coast due to poor sea conditions,  according to United Nations officials in the Gulf country.  The UN officers add that there are at least 16 other missing persons.

From the testimonies gathered by the members of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) it has emerged there were at least a hundred people on board the boat. The traffickers left on June 5 from the port town of Bosaso, in the direction of Yemen.

The migrants, all of Ethiopian nationality, wanted to find a better job and living conditions in the Arab country or in another of the Gulf nations.

The boat capsized while sailing at the mercy of the waves in the Gulf of Aden early yesterday morning. Among the confirmed victims there are 37 men and nine women. Originally, there were 83 men and 17 women on board.

According to some survivors, the ship was crammed beyond the limit and the people on board did not have life jackets. "Over 7 thousand migrants, mostly very poor, embark on this journey of death every month. Last year alone there were about 100 thousand in total "reports Mohammed Abdiker, Director of Operations and Emergencies of the IOM.

A "shameful" tragedy, he adds, is consummated in the silence and indifference of the international community. " They are treated appallingly and go through horrendous conditions. This has to end," he concludes.

For decades, migrants and refugees have left the Horn of Africa for Yemen via the Gulf of Aden. A preferred route due to the proximity between the two lands and the widespread perception of Yemen as a privileged gateway to the other Gulf countries or Europe.

However, for three years the country has been torn apart by a bloody civil war - fueled by external powers, including Saudi Arabia and Iran - which has caused thousands of victims and triggered one of the worst humanitarian and health crises on the planet.

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