from SAID ABOUBAKER in Djibouti, Djibouti
DJIBOUTI, (CAJ News) – TWELVE migrants have reportedly drowned after smugglers threw them off a boat at the coast of Djibouti.
An undetermined number of others are missing and presumed dead following the incident.
Some 34 others survived but suffered shock and minor injuries, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The organisation disclosed the victims were among roughly 50 Ethiopians returning from Yemen when the violence began.
This tragedy comes more than a week after eight migrants were killed and several injured when smugglers through them off a boat in the same area.
Mohammed Abdiker, IOM director for East and Horn of Africa, said the tragedies were a reminder about the humanitarian imperative of saving lives.
“Just days ago eight were left dead in Djibouti. Now ten,” he lamented.
“To say more needs to be done to respond the migrants trying to reach the country, taking these perilous journeys, and being exploited by smugglers, who clearly have no regard for human life, is an understatement.”
The official said Djibouti, a transit and destination country, was shouldering huge responsibility and needed support.
Thousands of migrants have arrived in the impoverished country from Yemen since July.
Movement restrictions against the coronavirus (COVID-19) have left at least 14 500 African migrants stranded across Yemen, in Western Asia.
Migrants are forced to rely on smugglers to survive and assistance to make the sea journey of more than 700 kilometres back to Djibouti and the Horn of Africa.
– CAJ News