49 migrants died, 140 missing after boat capsized off Yemen: UN migration agency

49 migrants died, 140 missing after boat capsized off Yemen: UN migration agency

Those who lost their lives include 31 women, 6 children, according to IOM

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - A boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, killing at least 49 migrants and leaving 140 others missing, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Tuesday.

The vessel, which was carrying 260 migrants, capsized on Monday near Alghareef Point in Shabwah governorate, the IOM said in a statement.

It added that those who lost their lives included 31 women and six children.

"This recent tragedy is another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address urgent migration challenges and ensure the safety and security of migrants along migration routes," IOM spokesperson Mohammedali Abunajela said.

Abunajela added that the agency remains committed to supporting survivors and improving search and rescue efforts in the region.

According to the survivors cited by IOM, the boat departed from Bossaso in Somalia at around 3 a.m. (0000GMT) on Sunday, carrying 115 Somali nationals and 145 Ethiopians, with 90 women among them.

Search and rescue operations continue, the agency noted.

The route between the Eastern Horn of Africa and Yemen is one of the world’s busiest and most challenging mixed migration routes, traversed by hundreds of thousands of migrants, the IOM said, adding that the majority of these individuals undertake irregular journeys, often relying on smugglers to navigate the journey and facing heightened risks, including human trafficking, during the perilous boat journey to Yemen’s shores.

In 2023, the IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix recorded over 97,200 migrant arrivals to Yemen, exceeding last year's figures by over 24,200.

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