34 African migrants die after boat capsizes off Djibouti | Ripples Nigeria
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34 African migrants die after boat capsizes off Djibouti



34 African immigrants who were trying to flee the continent for a better life in Asia, have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Djibouti on Monday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has confirmed.

The incident, according to the organization, is the second of such in just over a month.

Survivors reported that the boat capsized in rough seas at around 4:00am with about 60 passengers on board.

IOM’s Regional Director for East Africa and the Horn of Africa, Mohammed Abdiker who confirmed the incident on his official Twitter handle said:

“The migrants were being transported by people smugglers. Apprehending and prosecuting people traffickers and smugglers who exploit the vulnerabilities of migrants must become a priority. Too many lives needlessly lost,” he wrote.

READ ALSO: 64 immigrants deported, 1,132 others repatriated from Nigeria in 2020 – NIS

According to Abdiker, there were many children among the bodies found after the boat capsized in seas north of the Djibouti port town of Obock, a major transit point for thousands of African migrants in the region trying to reach the Gulf.

“This follows a similar accident on March 4 when 20 people drowned after smugglers threw dozens of migrants overboard during a journey between Djibouti and Yemen across the Gulf of Aden.

“At least 200 migrants were packed aboard that vessel when it left Djibouti. But about 30 minutes into the voyage, the smugglers panicked about the weight on board, and threw 80 people into the sea before turning back towards land.

“Two similar incidents in October claimed the lives of at least 50 migrants. Every year thousands of migrants make perilous boat journeys from the Horn of Africa to war-torn Yemen, many with the aim of travelling overland to Gulf nations in search of work.

“It is believed thousands of migrants are stranded in Yemen, where a years-long conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions in what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” a statement by the IOM adds.

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