31 migrants perish after boats sink off Djibouti

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The death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats off the coast of Djibouti has risen to 31, the UN migration agency said on Wednesday, with scores still feared missing.

Two vessels carrying migrants departed from Godaria on the Horn of Africa nation’s northeast coast on Tuesday morning, but sank in heavy seas 30 minutes into the journey, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The IOM’s chief of mission in Djibouti Lalini Veerassamy told AFP the death toll had hit 31 on Wednesday.

“This tragic event demonstrates the risks that vulnerable migrants face as they innocently search for better lives,” she said in a statement issued by IOM.

Sixteen people were recovered alive following the sinking, with one survivor telling Djiboutian authorities there were 130 people on his boat.

The number of passengers on the second vessel remains unclear, as do the nationalities of those onboard.

Located across the Bab el-Mandeb strait from Yemen and next to volatile Somalia and Ethiopia, Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

(AFP)

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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