49 Dead, 140 Missing After Migrant Boat Sinks

Wikimedia Commons/Public/Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet

Jeff Charles Contributor
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No less than 49 migrants died and around 140 are missing after their boat sank near Yemen’s coast, according to the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This development comes as hundreds of thousands of migrants have made their way from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, according to the IOM’s press release. The boat was carrying about 260 Somalis and Ethiopians from Somalia’s coast across the Gulf of Aden, the migrants told the agency. Among the dead were 31 women and six children. (RELATED: Over 30 Migrants Drown After Boat Capsizes)

The boat left Somalia at about 03:00 a.m. Sunday as part of a recent uptick in migration in the region, the IOM notes. Local authorities in Yemen’s Rudum District explained that migrants typically use Yemen as a transit point on their way to the Gulf States, according to the BBC.

At least 71 people have been rescued so far, according to IOM. The authorities are still searching for more survivors.

“Fishermen and residents managed to rescue 78 of the migrants, who reported that about 100 others who were with them on the same boat are missing. The search is still ongoing, and the United Nations has been informed of the incident,” Hadi Al-Khurma, the director of Yemen’s Rudum district, told Reuters.

The number of migrants traveling from Africa to Yemen, despite the civil war, has tripled in recent years, The Associated Press reported. Since 2021, the number has reportedly risen from approximately 27,000 to over 90,000 in 2023, the IOM counted. At least 1,860 people have died or gone missing while traveling to the country, according to the agency’s press release.