African migrant boat sinks off Yemen coast

9 March 2014 (Last Updated March 9th, 2014 18:30)

A boat carrying 42 African migrants sunk off the southern coast of Yemen, in the southern Shabwa province on 9 March, according to Yemen's Defence Ministry.

A boat carrying 42 African migrants sunk off the southern coast of Yemen, in the southern Shabwa province on 9 March, according to Yemen’s Defence Ministry.

At least 30 people were rescued by a Yemeni naval patrol and were subsequently sent to a refugee camp in the town of Mayfaa.

Refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa access Yemen while en route to states in the Persian Gulf.

"In 2011, more than 103,000 people entered the country via smuggler’s boats."

Yemen has continued to receive and host a record number of people fleeing the Horn of Africa, despite the country’s economic problems.

According to the United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), more than 107,000 people from the Horn of Africa made the perilous sea journey to Yemen in 2012.

Since 2006, when the agency started collecting the statistics, more than half a million refugees and migrants have travelled by sea to the country.

In 2011, more than 103,000 people entered the country via smuggler’s boats. More than 80% of the refugees were Ethiopian nationals, while remaining 20% were Somali.

All Somalis arriving in the country are automatically recognised as refugees by the local authorities, said the agency.