Thousands of Somali and Ethiopian refugees attempting to flee to Yemen are risking their lives in covert smuggling voyages across the dangerous Gulf of Aden, reports ADNKronos. Of the 4,741 people who crossed in September alone, 89 were killed and 154 are missing and presumed dead.
Many refugees are killed by asphyxiation below board or drown when smugglers throw them into the water before reaching shore. Refugees say the smugglers also beat them with pipes, while the Yemeni coast guard opens fire when they see the boat approaching.
The United Nations has committed to building a new refugee camp on the Yemeni coast, and will train the coast guards and immigration officials on refugee law, humanitarian law and rescue at sea.
“Somalia: Deadly exodus to Yemen gains momentum, U.N. reports”
ADN Kronos, September 28, 2007