African migrant boat capsizes off Yemen coast killing 70 passengers

7 December 2014 (Last Updated December 7th, 2014 18:30)

A boat carrying African migrants has capsized off Yemen's western coast, killing about 70 people.

A boat carrying African migrants has capsized off Yemen’s western coast, killing about 70 people.

Yemen security officials were cited by BBC News as saying that the majority of the migrants were Ethiopians and the boat sank off Yemen’s al-Makha port due to strong winds and rough waves.

"A recent report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed that the number of migrant fatalities worldwide has surpassed 40,000 since 2000."

According to reports, several people attempt to migrate every year, mostly in overcrowded boats used by smugglers, to Yemen, which is considered as a gateway to wealthy Middle East nations.

Reuters reported that human traffickers often use unseaworthy boats to smuggle African migrants to Yemen.

In March, approximately 42 African migrants died in the Arabian Sea, off the southern-coast of Yemen, in the southern Shabwa province.

A recent report released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed that the number of migrant fatalities worldwide has surpassed 40,000 since 2000.

Among these, the Mediterranean Sea has witnessed the most number of migrant deaths.

The report has said that more than 3,000 migrants have died this year travelling to Europe, while 22,000 refugees have died since 2000 in similar incidents, mostly on illegal routes across the Mediterranean Sea.

The latest global drowning report by the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that 1,000 people every day, or 40 people each hour, lose their lives to drowning worldwide.

The report has identified illegal migration as one of the major factors for the high number of drowning incidents.

According to the report, more than 90% of deaths occur in low and middle-income countries, with the highest rates reported in the African, South East Asia and Western Pacific regions.