By Catherine Irene
Human smugglers reportedly threw at least 20 people overboard a ship. They were part of about 200 people including children making the sea crossing from East Africa to Yemen.
According to Metro.uk, the migrants set off from Djibouti on the overcrowded boat on Wednesday. Quoting the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), the report said smugglers on the boat ‘started shouting’ in order to force people off the boat. Five bodies have so far been recovered.
The IOM said it was not the first time smugglers would deliberately force people making such hazardous transit off the boat.
The IOM said about 138,000 people made the dangerous trip in 2019 compared to 37,500 in 2020. In October, at least eight people drowned after smugglers forced them off a boat near Djibouti.
In 2017, up to 50 from Somalia and Ethiopia were ‘deliberately drowned’ when a smuggler forced them into the sea off Yemen’s coast. And in 2018, at least 30 migrants and refugees died when a boat capsized off Yemen, with survivors reporting gunfire.
The tragedy comes after the British Government announced it would slash aid to Yemen, which is dealing with the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.