20 Migrants en route to Yemen thrown Overboard by Smugglers


Over the past years, cases of migrants dying while smugglers attempt to get them to other countries have been numerous. In Djibouti and Libya, illegal smuggling instances have become so many that their governments don’t know what to do anymore. Migrants seeking to get into other countries pursue the help of smugglers. Most of these individuals usually want to travel into Europe or Yemen most of the time. Because those wishing to travel are so many smugglers pack the migrants and their desperate families into ill-equipped boats for travel. Most of these boats end up stalling and sinking while on a dangerous journey.

20 migrants die trying to make it to Yemen

While Hundreds of thousands of migrants have made it to other countries illegally, others never reach their destinations. Some families end up drowning along in the ill-equipped vessels while en route. Coast guards nearby or fishers sometimes rescue some individuals.  Meanwhile, others get intercepted by authorities and returned to their countries before they reach their destinations. According to the United Nations, around 3,600 migrants have been returned to their countries since the beginning of 2021.

This week yet another incident of migrants drowning to their deaths occurred during an illegal voyage. According to authorities, at least 20 migrants lost their lives while on their journey from Djibouti in East Africa to Yemen. According to a survivor, 20 were 80 other individuals that smugglers threw overboard during the voyage. The smugglers thew the individuals into the water as, according to them, the migrants were too many. The boat had 200 migrants, including children under 18, when it set off for Yemen’s trip.

According to the International Organization of Migration IOM, authorities only recovered five bodies from the incident. They took the survivors of the incident to a hospital in Djibouti for treatment. The authorities stationed at the hospital stated that it wasn’t immediately clear what countries the survivors were from. The only thing made clear was that the individuals had made the journeys from Somalia.

Cases of Smugglers forcing Migrants off Boats

Cases of people trying to make their way from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and then to rich Gulf countries are common. Thousands have succeeded in making the journey. The IOM believed that such journeys would decrease due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closed borders. But even though the number of trips has clearly slowed, the flow of migrants has not stopped. The IOM figures reveal that only 138,000 people made the illegal journey in 2019. But in 2020, the number shrunk down to just 37,500 due to the restrictions.

Cases of migrants being thrown overboard are also not unheard of. As thousands of migrants continue to try and make it out of, developing countries’ smugglers have forced them off boats near Djibouti and elsewhere. For instance, in October last year, at least eight migrants drowned after smugglers forced them off a boat. In another case, in 2017, smugglers deliberately drowned up to 50 migrants from Somalia and Ethiopia. Smugglers forced these migrants off their boat ad into the sea off Yemen’s coast. In 2018 some 30 migrants and refugees died after smugglers forced them off their boat using guns.



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