More than 100,000 immigrants from the Horn of Africa have crossed the Gulf of Aden, on their way to Yemen, despite the violent conflict in the country, the United Nations said yesterday.
"Despite conflict and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions, more than 100,000 people have so far this year risked their lives on the high seas to reach Yemen from the Horn of Africa by boat. This underscores the need for urgent support in countries of origin and transit to discourage people from attempting this deadly crossing," UNHCR spokesman William Spindler told reporters in Geneva.
According to the agency, a total 105,971 people have made the journey as of mid-November, mainly across the Gulf of Aden.
"Most people came from Ethiopia and Somalia (88,667 and 17,293 respectively) compared to 92,446 migrants who made the journey last year and just 25,898 in 2006, despite heightened conflict and insecurity in Yemen in the past two year."
So far this year, at least 79 people attempting the crossing to Yemen have been reported dead or missing at sea.