Forty-two African migrants drowned late Sunday when their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen.
The boat was smuggling dozens of African refugees when it overturned off the coast of Bi’r Ali in the southern Shabwah province, according to foreign media reports and as well as brief statement from the ministry on its news website 26sep.net. A Yemeni naval patrol in the Arabian Sea rescued at least 30 others who were later taken to a refugee camp in the town of Mayfaa, according to the statement.
Thousands of Africans make this journey in overcrowded boats to Yemen each year and hundreds of them have died, according to the BBC.
Al Jazeera reports that these migrants, particularly Ethiopians and Somalis who are feeling poverty and unrest at home, slip into southern Yemen by boat before making their way north toward Saudi Arabia. About 84,000 from countries in the Horn of Africa migrated to Yemen in 2012 in search of jobs in Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries, according to the International Organization for Migration.