Saturday, October 11, 2008

Somali Migrants Killed Off the Cost of Yemen

Another sad refugee story from the Associated Press:

Dozens of bodies washed ashore Friday in Yemen after smugglers threw nearly 150 Somali migrants overboard in shark-infested waters, the latest such tragedy in one of the most lawless stretches of ocean in the world.

The Gulf of Aden between Yemen and the Horn of Africa is notorious for Somali piracy.

The latest migrant deaths raised calls for NATO and U.S. ships to also act against human trafficking in the same waters off Somalia, a country where there is no government control and armed groups are rampant.

"It's essentially the same problems that allow piracy and smuggling," said Roger Middleton, an expert on East Africa at the Chatham House think tank in London.

Dire economic conditions and violence in Somalia drive the waves of migrants, while the general lawlessness that gives pirates a free hand also opens the door for smugglers.

About 32,000 migrants have made the hazardous sea journey to Yemen this year — 22,000 of them Somalis, according to figures from the Yemeni government and the U.N. refugee agency. Click here for the rest of the story.

bh

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