100 Somalis feared dead off Yemen coast
Sunday, 12 October 2008

AP News

As many as 100 migrants from Somalia were missing and feared drowned off the coast of Yemen after smugglers forced them overboard in the treacherous Gulf of Aden waters.

Thirty bodies were found washed up on shore yesterday and were buried immediately as a search operation continued at sea.
 
The smugglers' boat left Somalia on Monday with 150 people on board, a UN refugee agency spokesman said. Later, when their vessel was about three miles offshore, the smugglers forced all but 12 of the migrants overboard. The 12 were put in a smaller boat while the rest tried to swim to shore, but only 47 made it and alerted authorities.
 
A Yemeni official said the boat was bound for Yemen's Shabwa province, some 300 miles south of San'a on the Gulf of Aden coast. He believed that between 100 and 118 migrants could have drowned.
 
The 30 bodies found so far were buried on Friday in Shabwa, in keeping with Islamic customs of quick burial, the official said. In a sign of how frequent such drownings are, he cautioned that it was not certain whether all 30 came from the boat, as bodies often float in on the Shabwa shores. During the first half of September some 165 bodies were found on the shore and buried, the interior ministry said in a statement.
 
The waters off the Horn of Africa and Yemen remains a busy crossing-point for migrants fleeing to Yemen from the Horn, particularly from Somalia.
 
"It's essentially the same problems that allow piracy and smuggling," said Roger Middleton, an expert on east Africa at the Chatham House thinktank in London.
 
Those problems include dire economic conditions, mass displacements of people and the general lawlessness that abounds in Somalia, said Middleton. "People are very desperate."
 
Reports of abuse by smugglers are common in the heavy traffic of migrants across the sea to Yemen. Often migrants are attacked during the journey by smugglers and thrown overboard into shark-infested waters.
 
The UN high commissioner for refugees, António Guterres, said the number of crossings had doubled "in the present season". About 32,000 people have arrived in Yemen on boats this year, many of them from the Horn of Africa, he said.
 
The Yemeni interior ministry said 22,532 Somali migrants had reached Yemen this year.
 
The UN refugee agency estimates at least 230 people have died and 365 remain missing, including 100 from the latest incident.
 
A separate search was launched on Thursday after a boat with about 50 illegal migrants on board sank off the coast of Morocco.
 
Moroccan officials say the number of boats of illegal migrants setting off for Spain fell 90% last year as the government moved to break up trafficking gangs.

Comments Add New
Advocate Halim Khan, from Ivor  - Another Bangladesh |2008-11-19 22:03:22
About 3000 Bangladeshi Army, Police and civilians are working in the western african country Ivory Coast. While I came to Abidjan, a Ivorian called me and said, "Aponi Bhalo Achen? While I heard the Bangla from a ivorian I was surprise and replied " Ha, Bhalo achi" again he asked me "Bhabi Bhalo achen to?" I made shortcut reply and said "Ha Bhaloa' again he asked me "Bachara bhalo ache to?" I said "ha Bhalo" I was so curious and asked him how he could learn Bangla? He told me that Bangladeshi Solders tought them. Not only he, as many as hundreds Ivorians now could speak bangla. It was possible as they want to increase their language number. While they apply for a job can say that they know Bangla also. Moreover our troops has given their labour to learn Ivorians a language Bangla, which they never could be used after UN goes away. I heard that Bngladeshi solders had tought Siera Lions people and the bangla is a language of their own. If the Ivorians keep on learning bangla like Colibaly (Ivorian's name) we may say here is also our language people live. So Ivory Coast is also another Bangladesh like Sierra Lion.
Halim
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