49 dead, 140 missing as migrant boat capsizes near Yemen

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The IOM stated that it dispatched two medical teams to provide immediate aid to the survivors, including six children.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that at least 49 individuals lost their lives and 140 others remain unaccounted for after a vessel carrying 260 migrants from Somalia overturned off the Yemeni coast on Monday.

According to a statement released by the UN agency, the boat left Bosaso, Somalia around 3:00 am local time on Sunday, with 115 Somali and 145 Ethiopian passengers. The vessel capsized in the Gulf of Aden near Alghareef Point in Yemen's Shabwah governorate.

The IOM stated that it dispatched two medical teams to provide immediate aid to the survivors, including six children. Out of the 71 identified survivors, eight required further medical care and were transported to a hospital, while the remaining 63 were given first aid and minor treatment.

The IOM acknowledged the critical support provided by local fishermen and community members in the recovery efforts and the burial of some of the deceased.

Search and rescue operations for the missing individuals are ongoing, and bodies continue to be discovered along the shore. Local authorities and rescue teams are working together in an attempt to locate and identify the missing.

The IOM indicated that this incident is part of an increasing trend of migrants from the Horn of Africa traveling to Yemen, driven by political and economic instability, severe droughts, and extreme weather events in countries like Ethiopia and Somalia.

Many migrants make the perilous journey in search of better opportunities or to escape conflict and dire living conditions in their home countries.

The agency also noted that two other recent shipwrecks off the coast of Djibouti resulted in the deaths of at least 62 migrants. These repeated tragedies highlight the dangerous conditions faced by migrants attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden and the broader region's migration routes.

IOM spokesman Mohammedali Abunajela emphasised the urgency of addressing migration challenges and ensuring the safety and security of migrants along migration routes. He described the recent tragedy as a stark reminder of the need for collaborative action among governments, international organisations, and local communities to prevent such incidents and protect vulnerable populations.

"This recent tragedy is another reminder of the urgent need to work together to address urgent migration challenges and ensure the safety and security of migrants along migration routes," he said.

The IOM called for increased efforts to provide safer migration options and to address the root causes of forced migration, such as political instability, economic hardship, and environmental factors. The organisation also stressed the importance of international cooperation in improving search and rescue operations and providing humanitarian assistance to those in need.

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