Some 300 Africans have been intentionally thrown into the sea in 24 hours by smugglers off Yemen, in which dozens are dead or missing, illustrating the inhumane treatment suffered by migrants in search of a better life. Soon after the incident, the IOM discovered graves of 29 migrants on a beach in Shabwa, Yemen, during the routine patrol.
They estimated the average age of those on board to be 16.
Yemen, although wracked by civil war, has become a destination for migrants from the Horn of Africa who are seeking jobs in wealthy Gulf countries, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. "Twenty-five passengers (wounded) of the boat are now being treated on the coast of Yemen", told AFP a spokesman of the organization.
"They also told us that the smuggler already has returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route". The IOM says 22 migrants are still missing. The survivors were found on a beach in Shabwa, Yemen. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous.More news: Google engineer fired for 'sexist' memo takes legal aim at company
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Smugglers were pushing migrants into the sea away from the mainland for fear of government boats, amid reinforced border controls, or to avoid encountering armed groups on shore in the war-torn country, the IOM said.
The IOM says about 55,000 people have left Horn of Africa countries for Yemen since January, with most coming from Somalia and Ethiopia.
On this route, migrants are exposed to the dangers of Yemen's conflict, with some having been killed in the war. Smugglers work in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Migrant monitoring agencies claim that 111,5000 asylum seekers arrived in Yemen from Africa a year ago. "Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future", he said.
Years of fighting between the Saudi-backed government and Shiite Huthi rebels allied with Iran have been compounded by a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 2,000 people and the looming threat of starvation.