UN reports 16 dead, including children, after asylum-seeker boat capsizes off Djibouti

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The UN’s migration agency reports that at least 16 people are dead and 28 others are missing after a boat carrying 77 asylum seekers capsized off the coast of Djibouti. This tragic incident follows another sinking just two weeks prior, where several dozen people lost their lives on the perilous “eastern migration route” between Africa and the Middle East. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is supporting local authorities in the search and rescue effort for the missing individuals, including children. Ethiopia’s ambassador to Djibouti confirmed that the boat was carrying Ethiopians from Yemen, with 33 survivors, including one woman. This route across the Red Sea and through Yemen is treacherous, with many facing starvation, health risks, and exploitation by traffickers. The IOM’s data shows an increase in people attempting this dangerous journey, with Ethiopians making up the majority of arrivals in Yemen. The ongoing conflicts and droughts in Ethiopia have driven many to seek better opportunities elsewhere. Last year alone, at least 698 people lost their lives attempting the crossing from Djibouti to Yemen, highlighting the urgent need for safer migration routes.

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