World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Refugee Smugglers Claim More Lives In Gulf Of Aden

As Refugee Smugglers Claim More Lives In Gulf Of Aden, UN
Seeks Urgent Action

New York, Feb 28 2006 11:00AM

In the latest grim episode of asylum seekers and migrants dying while trying to cross the Gulf of Aden from Somalia to Yemen, the United Nations refugee agency reported today that smugglers forced 137 men, women and children into deep waters off the Yemeni coast, killing at least 33, with another 30 missing.

“The latest tragic incident once again highlights the urgent need for joint international and local efforts to address this problem and minimize the flow of desperate people who fall victim to ruthless smugglers,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva.

Thousands of Somalis, many fleeing violence in their homeland, arrive in Yemen every year, averaging an estimated 100 people a day during the annual September to March period of good sailing conditions, after making the perilous crossing in the hands of smugglers who often beat them or force them overboard while still far from shore, sometimes with their hands tied behind their backs, leaving them to the mercy of the seas.

On Saturday, the UNHCR office in Aden, Yemen, received information that a smuggler's boat sailing from Somalia had forced all of its 137 passengers - 134 Somalis and three Ethiopians - into deep waters, before turning around and heading back to Somalia.

By Monday evening, 84 people had managed to reach shore safely, while 33 had been found dead on the Al Hodeiya shore on the southern coast. Another 30 passengers including children are still missing and we fear their chances of survival are now extremely slim,” Ms. Pagonis said. “Our team in Aden is taking care of the survivors, giving them medical care, food and non-food items.”

Despite the hazards, smugglers still find ready customers. From 12-17 January alone, 22 boats carrying an unknown number of Somalis and Ethiopians arrived in Yemen. Of those, UNHCR registered 1,217 Somalis and 39 Ethiopians. On 16 January, a boat carrying 65 people and six dead bodies arrived in Yemen. Another 14 people had reportedly died during the voyage.

UNHCR has been working with the authorities in Puntland, in north-eastern Somalia to inform people about the dangers of using smugglers. In January it produced a video to raise awareness among Somalis and Ethiopians of the risks involved and is now working on a radio programme in local languages to reach more people.

“At the same time, we are also calling on donors to support the international community in its efforts to improve protection and assistance to internally displaced persons in Puntland who live in very difficult circumstances,” Ms. Pagonis said in the latest of a series of appeals the agency has issued over recent months. “Without addressing the root causes of the outflow, progress in stemming the smuggling will be extremely limited."

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Palestine: Border Police Extremely Close When They Shot The US Activist

New testimony at final hearing in Tristan Anderson's trial indicates Border Police were extremely close when they shot the US activist in the head More>>

Palestine: Ni’lin Demonstrators Met With Violence

International Solidarity Movement On the 20th of March, during Ni’lin’s weekly Friday demonstration, Israeli occupation forces attacked protestors with about 20 rounds of tear gas canisters shot with the ‘venom’ tear gas launcher mounted on a military jeep ... More>>

ALSO:

UN Envoy Says Yemen On 'Rapid Downward Spiral'

Yemen stands on the brink of civil war amid deepening political tensions and an uptick in sectarian violence, United Nations Special Adviser Jamal Benomar warned today as he explained that only through dialogue could the country achieve a peaceful political transition. More>>


Continued International Support As Vanuatu Recovers

Damage seen on Saturday 14 March 2015 in Port Vila, capital of Vanuatu, after Cyclone Pam moved through the Archipelago. Photo: UNICEF Pacific More>>

UNICEF Rushes Emergency Supplies For Cyclone-Affected Tuvalu

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is dispatching emergency life-saving supplies to communities in Tuvalu as part of its efforts to assist communities in the Pacific region that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Pam, with nutrition and hygiene kits arriving today. More>>

Vanuatu: Regenvanu Expects 50% Of People Struck By Pam To Be Homeless

Vanuatu Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says more than 50 percent of those hit by super Cyclone Pam at the weekend are now homeless. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news