Migrant Boat Sinks Killing Nearly 50 and Leaving 140 More Missing

(RepublicanJournal.org) – There are many reasons why migrants decide to leave their home countries and move to another. Often, they’re looking for a chance at a better life or to escape a war-torn region or one overtaken by violence. Unfortunately, some of the methods migrants choose often end up being extremely dangerous. A boat recently leaving Somalia with 260 people onboard sank, killing at least 49 people.

The boat left the Horn of Africa in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 9, but sadly never made it to its destination. It was traveling to Yemen with 145 Ethiopians and 115 Somalis on board. Yemen is often used as a crossing point, where migrants land and make their way to the Gulf states, such as Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates.

Strong winds off the coast of Yemen caused the boat to capsize. At least 49 people died, including 31 women and six children. As of the time of writing, authorities were looking for at least 140 missing people. Fishermen in the area managed to rescue some of the survivors.

The United Nations is involved, considering the nature of the incident. Its International Organization for Migration (IOM) has experienced a shortage of patrol boats, so the search and rescue operation has been slow going. However, the organization is providing resources to more than 70 survivors, including six children. Eight of those rescued have been hospitalized.

Migration from the Horn of Africa is up significantly. In 2021, the number of those arriving in Yemen was a mere 27,000. By 2023, that number had more than tripled to 90,000. The Yemeni war and Houthi attacks on vessels in the Red Sea have done little to deter those determined to find a better life. But that doesn’t mean the trip is easy. Since 2014, the IOM has reported nearly 2,000 migrant deaths and disappearances. Nearly 500 of those drowned.

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