About 200 Refugees Thrown Into Yemen Sea
More refugees and migrants have been “deliberately drowned” by human smugglers for the second time in 24 hours
off the coast of Yemen, according to the United Nation’s migration agency.
Patrol teams from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) found in the south of Yemen at least five
bodies on Thursday morning, and are still searching for at least 50 more who remain missing.
“It is indeed a very dramatic situation,” Laurent de Boeck, the agency’s Yemen chief of mission, said from Brussels on Thursday.
“They were in a boat with smugglers, who dropped them at sea before arriving at the shores. Some people have
disappeared. But others were actually buried by their friends on the beaches.” De Boeck said the incident was
reported by some of the survivors, whom he described as “exhausted and under shock”. “This situation is new,” he
said, adding that “it is the first time” that his agency documented people being forced out of the boats by smugglers before reaching the shores.
De Boeck said that the civil war in Yemen and the collapse of the state have allowed” criminal networks to act freely”, endangering many refugees and migrants.