Tragedy Strikes as 21 Migrants Perish, 23 Missing in Djibouti Boat Capsizing


NAIROBI, April 23 (Reuters) – The United Nations migration agency reported on Tuesday that twenty-one migrants have lost their lives, while twenty-three remain unaccounted for following the tragic capsizing of a boat carrying 77 individuals off the coast of Djibouti. This marks the second such incident in a fortnight.

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According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the passengers aboard the vessel included children. The perilous journey, primarily undertaken by migrants from the Horn of Africa, notably Ethiopia and Somalia, aims to reach destinations such as Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations in search of employment opportunities.

Despite the aspirations of many, numerous migrants find themselves unable to complete the journey, with thousands becoming stranded in Yemen under dire conditions, as outlined by the IOM. The treacherous waters off the Djibouti coast frequently witness drownings as migrants undertake these hazardous voyages.

Tanja Pacifico, head of the IOM’s Djiboutian office, confirmed the tragic toll, which surpassed earlier estimates provided by the agency. She disclosed that all those rescued and deceased were of Ethiopian origin.

“This marks another tragic incident following a similar shipwreck involving 38 Ethiopian nationals less than two weeks ago,” Pacifico conveyed to Reuters over the phone, emphasizing the escalating trend in migrant casualties in recent months.

The capsized vessel was en route from Yemen to Djibouti, indicating the perilous nature of the migrants’ journey across the sea.

“These numbers have been increasing over the past few months,” Pacifico underscored, highlighting the urgency of addressing the challenges faced by migrants seeking better prospects through perilous routes.

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