At least 46 Ethiopian migrants dead after boat capsizes en route to Yemen, UN says

At least 46 Ethiopian migrants drowned early on Wednesday after a smuggler's boat carrying at least 100 migrants capsized as it approached Yemen, the UN migration agency said in a statement. 

The International Organization for Migration said 16 others were missing and presumed dead.

The boat left the port of Bossasso in Somalia on Tuesday, with 83 men and 17 women on board hoping to find work in Yemen and the Arabian Gulf, the IOM said, citing information from survivors. 

IOM's director of operations and emergencies, Mohammad Abdiker, said the Gulf of Aden's migration tragedy was shameful.

"Over 7,000 poor migrants take this perilous journey every month; some 100,000 took it just last year. They are treated appallingly and go through horrendous conditions. This has to end," he was quoted as saying in the statement.

The drownings happened just days after IOM helped 101 Ethiopians, including 51 women and 33 children, to leave Yemen for Djibouti, as fighting closed in around Yemen's key port of Hodeidah.

They were stranded in Yemen and among the most vulnerable of about 300 migrants stuck in detention, IOM said.

"Both while travelling to and in Yemen, migrants are routinely abused by smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour and even 
death," the IOM statement said.

Some migrants got caught up in the war and were injured or killed or taken to detention centres, official or unofficial, IOM said. 

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