Ethiopian, Somali migrants forced into sea off Yemen

Ethiopian, Somali migrants forced into sea off Yemen

"Five bodies have been recovered so far and around 50 are reported missing", the press release said.

"The dead had been quickly buried by those who survived the smugglers' deadly actions", IOM said.

The IOM says about 55,000 people have left Horn of Africa countries for Yemen since January, with most coming from Somalia and Ethiopia. Most come from Somalia and Ethiopia.

The agency said it feared the incidents might mark the start of a new trend in people-smuggling that could lead to more deaths. The average age of the passengers on board was around 16, according to the group. "Some people are paying as little as $100 USA, but then on route they are tortured, they are abused, their families are made aware of this and are forced to pay $1,000 or to $2,000 more". "People pay this small amount of money, which is actually affordable for them, but on the journey the smugglers rape, torture, and abuse them".

Despite the conflict, migrants still seek transit through Yemen, often towards its land border with Saudi Arabia. "They drop them near the shore and turn around and get more".

"We condemn the acts of smugglers off the coast of Yemen - 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants were forced from a boat yesterday, and another 180 today, the death toll is still rising", IOM Director General William Lacy Swing told MEE.

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According to a source within the IOM in the city of yemen Aden, "there were many women and children among those who are dead and those reported missing".

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has told SBS World News of the numerous dangers faced by African migrants travelling to war-torn Yemen, after the "deliberate drowning" of migrants off the country's coast.

More than 111,500 migrants arrived on Yemen's shores previous year.

"The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea, when he saw some "authority types" near the coast", explained Laurent de Boeck, the IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.

De Boeck expressed regret that the European Union is more focused on Mediterranean routes where smugglers have also cast migrants trying to reach Europe adrift.

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