political insecurity in Ethiopia is driving more people to seek asylum in foreign soil.

(SBS) Around 33 bodies have been found and another 30 people, including children, are feared dead. Dozens of people managed to reach the shore alive. According to the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) office in Aden, Yemen, smugglers on the boat sailing from Somalia forced all its passengers — three of them Ethiopians — into deep waters off the Yemeni coast, before turning around and heading back to Somalia.

The bodies of the dead were found near Al Hodeiya, 10 kilometres east of Bir Ali on the southern Yemeni coast. Between January 12 and 17, 22 boats carrying an unknown number of Somalis and Ethiopians arrived in Yemen. Of those, UNHCR registered 1,217 Somalis and 39 Ethiopians. On January 16, a boat carrying 65 people and six dead bodies arrived in Yemen. Another 14 people reportedly died during the voyage, the UNHCR said.

"It is a sign of the fragility of the situation in Somalia... and more and more Ethiopians are also opting to escape on this route," he said. "It's clear that the political insecurity, especially after the election in Ethiopia, are driving more people from that country to seek asylum." UN staff in Aden say they are taking care of the survivors, giving them medical help and food.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at11:48 PM


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