Death toll up to 28 after migrant boats sink off Djibouti: IOM

Published: January 30, 2019

The death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats off the coast of Djibouti rose to 28 on Wednesday, the UN migration agency said.

“Twenty-three bodies were recovered this morning and the coast guard continues (its) search,“ Lalini Veerassamy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) chief of mission in Djibouti told AFP, a day after five people were found dead.

Two boats carrying migrants bound for Yemen departed from Godoria on the Horn of Africa nation’s northeast coast, IOM said, but capsized in heavy seas about 30 minutes into their journey on Tuesday.

Two survivors were discovered after the sinking and Veerassamy said “a few” others arrived at an IOM facility in the town of Obock on Tuesday evening.

One survivor estimated there were 130 people on his boat, but was not able to estimate the number of passengers on the other vessel.

Located across the Bab el-Mandeb strait from war-torn Yemen and next to volatile Somalia and Ethiopia, Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

It is also a destination for boatloads of Yemeni refugees fleeing war. — AFP

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