Forty-two illegal migrants drowned off Yemen’s coast in the southern Shabwa province late Sunday, as a naval patrol saved at least 30 others in the Arabian Sea, the defense ministry said.
The African migrants’ boat “overturned off the coast of Beer Ali,” added the ministry in a brief statement posted on its website.
The migrants were being taken to a refugee camp in the town of Mayfaa, according to the ministry.
African migrants, especially from Ethiopia and Somalia are largely smuggled into southern Yemen by boat, before making their way towards the Saudi border, as they run away from poverty in their own countries.
Around 84,000 people from Horn of Africa countries have entered Yemen in 2012, in hopes of finding jobs in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, the International Organization for Migrationreported.
But the construction of a wall on the Saudi-Yemeni border, and newly enforced labor regulations in Saudi Arabia have reduced the influx of African migrants and refugees making their way to Yemen, reported the Yemen Times.
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A border wall! Call Amnesty and Human Rights Watch! Forty-two drowned! I expected a huge funeral, much hand-wringing about refugees rights and a special day marked on the calendar for future observance of this date.