16 dead, 28 missing in migrant boat capsize off Djibouti: UN

Accident occurred about two weeks after another boat carrying mainly Ethiopian migrants sank off Djibouti coast, claiming several dozen lives

NAIROBI   -  At least 16 people are dead and 28 missing in a new migrant boat disaster off the coast of the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, the UN’s International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday.

The accident occurred about two weeks after another boat carrying mainly Ethiopian migrants sank off the Djibouti coast, claiming several dozen lives. “Tragedy as boat capsizes off Djibouti coast with 77 migrants on board including children,” the IOM said in a post on X, without specifying when the latest incident occurred.

“At least 28 missing. 16 dead,” it said, adding that the local IOM branch was “supporting local authorities with search and rescue effort”. It was the latest deadly accident on the so-called Eastern Migration Route. 

Another boat carrying more than 60 people sank off the coast of Godoria in the northeast of Djibouti on April 8, according to the IOM and the Ethiopian embassy in Djibouti. The IOM said at the time the bodies of 38 migrants, including children, were recovered, while another six people were missing. The embassy in Djibouti said the boat was carrying Ethiopian migrants from Djibouti to war-torn Yemen. Each year, many tens of thousands of African migrants brave the perilous “Eastern Route” across the Red Sea and through war-scarred Yemen to reach Saudi Arabia, escaping conflict or natural disaster, or seeking better economic opportunities.

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