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38 migrants dead in shipwreck off Djibouti

Covered bodies of victims are seen from a capsized boat near the coastal town of Obock, in northeastern Djibouti. 09/04/2024   -  
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The United Nations migration agency says 38 migrants are dead after a ship capsized off Djibouti on a popular route to Yemen.

22 others have been rescued from the shipwreck, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.

Rescue teams searched for six other migrants who were thought to be on board.

"The International Organization for Migration, can confirm that at least 38 people perished in this latest tragedy, many of them women, children and even babies unfortunately lost their lives when the boat capsized," said Yvonne Ndege, IOM spokesperson.

“At least 22 people have survived and IOM, in coordination and partnership with local authorities, is helping to respond to the needs of those who survived and help them deal with the trauma that they are facing.”

Djibouti is the main transit country for migrants trying to reach Gulf nations from countries in the Horn of Africa such as Ethiopia and Somalia in search of work.

The IOM says that conflict and insecurity, as well as climate change, are major push factors forcing people to attempt the crossing. 

The route is "extremely dangerous" for migrants who are targeted by traffickers and can face kidnap, arbitrary arrest and forced recruitment into warring groups, particularly in Yemen.

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