African teen migrants 'deliberately drowned' off Yemen - IOM

A boat full of migrants

"Early this morning, a smuggler, in charge of the boat, has forced more than 120 migrants, somalis and ethiopians to jump into a rough sea as they approached the coast of the province of yemen of Chabwa, in Arabian sea", said the IOM in a statement quoting survivors.

It states that "the dead were buried quickly by the survivors".

Twenty-two are missing while the rest have moved on, the IOM said.

The passengers' average age was around 16, the agency said.

At least 29 migrants have died and 22 others missing in the Arabian sea after having been forced by their traffickers to jump to the sea off the coast of Yemen, reported Wednesday the worldwide Organization for migration (IOM).

"The smugglers deliberately pushed the migrants into the waters since they feared that they would be arrested by the authorities once they reach the shore", an IOM emergency officer in Aden told AFP.

Then they "simply went back to where they came from to pick more migrants and try to smuggle them into Yemen, again".

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Some 27 survivors were found still on the beach during a routine patrol, with medical staff providing urgent care. "This is shocking and inhumane", de Boeck said. "Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future".

Estimates say more than 50,000 migrants have made the journey to Yemen this year.

The migrants, who included some young women, were headed to war-torn Yemen in order to seek opportunities in Gulf countries. IOM and its partners operate across the region to support these migrants and provide lifesaving assistance to those who find themselves abused or stranded along the route.

The war in Yemen has been nearly 8400 people dead and more than 47 000 casualties since 2015, according to the world Health Organization. In March, Somalia's government blamed the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen for an attack on a boat that killed at least 42 Somali refugees off Yemen's coast.

Years of political chaos, combined with the rise of terror groups and deadly drought have driven many to leave Somalia.

More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of global agencies that monitors migration in the area.

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