Eight migrants drown, more injured off the horn of Africa


Staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) assisted Djiboutian authorities as they attended to the grim task of recovering and burying eight drowning victims whose remains washed ashore after a lethal journey from Yemen over the weekend.
The victims—from a total of 34 mainly Ethiopian and Somali migrants seeking to return to Africa after attempting to find work in the Arabian Gulf—make even more tragic a recent wave of Africans arriving in Djibouti.
“It was at night and the smugglers turned off all the lights on the boat, claiming we were being followed the Coast Guard. But they were lying,” 19-year-old survivor Galgalou Haji Wacho from Oromo, Ethiopia, told IOM. “There was no Coast Guard. They started hitting us with sticks and iron bars.”
Haji Wacho said he was in the water for nearly two hours, struggling to make out the coastline ahead. “I could not see anything,” he recalled. “It was pitch black. I did not know whether I was dead or alive.”