55 dead as boat capsizes off Somalia, UN says

55 dead as boat capsizes off Somalia, UN says

Boosaaso : Somalia | Dec 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM PST
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A pirate boat in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia

The UN refugee agency UNHCR reports that 55 people have drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Somalia.

The boat was on its way to Yemen filled with refugees from Somalia and Ethiopia. It sank soon after leaving the northeastern Somali port of Boosaaso.

The last big drowning of this sort in the Gulf of Aden was back in February 2011, when 57 Somalis drowned fleeing the political instability and violence of Somalia.

In a statement the UNHCR representative for Somalia, Bruno Geddo, said: "Twenty-three bodies have been recovered. The 32 remaining passengers are presumed to have drowned."

Geddo went on to say, "Without doubt, the Gulf of Aden is now the deadliest route for people fleeing conflict, violence and human rights abuses in the Horn of Africa."

Many thousands of people from the Horn of Africa attempt to escape to a better life via the sea. They often set sail in overcrowded and unseaworthy boats. Their life-savings have often been handed over to people smugglers who care more about cash than the safety of their passengers.

As most of the sailings are illegal the UNHCR says that it is difficult to know just how many people die each year trying to escape by boat. It is known that in the last year around 95 people have drowned in the gulf.

Sources and more on this story:

Global Times


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A pirate boat pictured in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia
A pirate boat pictured in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia
INVIGILATOR is based in Nottingham, England, United Kingdom, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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