03/27/2007 Somalia refugees (Near Yemen) ***29 Fatal***

Shark Attack Survivors News Archive for Shark Attacks in 2007.

03/27/2007 Somalia refugees (Near Yemen) ***29 Fatal***

Postby sharkbait » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:25 am

Africans forced into shark-infested seas

Tue, March 27, 2007

By AP



SAN`A, YEMEN -- Smugglers taking illegal migrants from Somalia to Yemen forced hundreds of Africans overboard in stormy seas in an effort to make a fast getaway from security forces, officials said yesterday. Thirty-one bodies have been found and nearly 90 people remained missing.

Passengers who resisted the smugglers were stabbed or beaten with wooden and steel clubs, then thrown into the water where some were attacked by sharks, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said, citing survivors.

"Several recovered bodies showed signs of severe mutilation," UNHCR said. "Survivors also reported that several Ethiopian women and at least one Somali were raped and abused by the smugglers during the voyage from Bosaso in Somalia's Puntland region. Survivors also alleged that some Yemeni security forces confiscated their money once they reached shore."

Yemeni officials said several boats were involved in last week's incident. The dead and missing came from a single wooden boat that was carrying around 120 people, said an official from the local government in coastal Shabwa province.

Another 450 people forced out of other boats at the same time had been rescued.

It was the latest case of smuggler brutality involving boats carrying people across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia and the Horn of Africa. It brings the total number of dead and missing among people trying to reach Yemen so far this year to 264.

"We are horrified by this latest tragedy," said Erika Feller, the UNHCR's assistant high commissioner for protection. The victims are people "who are desperate to escape persecution, violence and poverty in the Horn of Africa." A similar incident occurred on Saturday, when smugglers forced 140 people into the water elsewhere along the coast.

http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/News/Intern ... 0-sun.html
Last edited by sharkbait on Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby sharkbait » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:26 am

Source: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Date: 26 Mar 2007
Print E-mail Save At least 29 dead in smuggling run off Yemen; UNHCR "horrified"
GENEVA, March 26 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said Monday that at least 29 people were confirmed dead and 71 others reported missing after knife-wielding smugglers forced some 450 Somalis and Ethiopians into stormy seas off the coast of Yemen.

"The incident, the latest in a series of tragedies involving smugglers' boats carrying people across the Gulf of Aden from Somalia, occurred last Thursday along a remote stretch of Yemen coastline at Ras-Alkalb," said a UNHCR press release, adding that it brought the total number of dead and missing so far this year in Yemen to 262.

"We are horrified by this latest tragedy," said UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Erika Feller, who has just returned from a five-day mission to Yemen to review the agency's operations in the country. "These brutal smugglers care nothing about the fate of the people they prey upon – both refugees and irregular migrants who are desperate to escape persecution, violence and poverty in the Horn of Africa," she added.

Some of the 293 survivors and other witnesses were cited as saying that four smugglers' boats carrying about 450 passengers approached the coastline early Thursday morning in rough seas and strong currents. The smugglers forced the passengers overboard far from shore.

"Some of the survivors said those who resisted were stabbed and beaten with wooden and steel clubs, then thrown overboard where some were attacked by sharks. Several recovered bodies showed signs of severe mutiliation," the UNHCR press release said.

Survivors also reported that several Ethiopian women and at least one Somali were raped and abused by the smugglers during the voyage from Bosaso in Somalia's Puntland region. Survivors also alleged that some Yemeni security forces confiscated their money once they crossed the Gulf of Aden and reached shore.

The press release said authorities estimated that 74 Ethiopians and 26 Somalis were either dead or missing. Another 57 Ethiopians reportedly reached shore and quickly dispersed, fearing detention by security forces. The remaining 293 survivors were taken to UNHCR's Mayfa'a Reception Centre, where they received medical assistance and other aid.

UNHCR records show that some 26,000 people made the perilous voyage across the Gulf of Aden last year, and that at least 330 died. Another 300 were reported missing and believed dead. Since the beginning of this year, at least 4,400 people have landed on the Yemeni coast and at least 166 people have died. Many remain missing. Two more boats carrying 330 Somalis and Ethiopians arrived in Yemen on Saturday, but no casualties were reported.

The latest tragedy occurred just after Assistant High Commissioner Feller's mission to Yemen with the Director of UNHCR's Middle East and North Africa Bureau, Radhouane Nouicer. During their visit, the two UNHCR officials and Yemeni authorities agreed to strengthen cooperation in addressing the plight of the mixed populations of refugees and irregular migrants arriving in Yemen.

UNHCR, which operates both a reception centre and a refugee camp in Yemen, will appeal for additional funding and international action to help Yemen in dealing with the continuing crisis. This would enable the organisation to implement more projects to improve the living conditions and self sufficiency of the refugees in Yemen.

The refugee agency has offered to support Yemeni authorities in managing the mixed migration flows in a manner that would ensure protection and durable solutions for those who need it, as well as the safe return home for those who do not.

UNHCR and other organisations are also working in the Horn of Africa to encourage authorities to crack down on smuggling and to educate people about the dangers of resorting to smugglers to cross the Gulf of Aden. But Feller said it would take much more international involvement to improve conditions in the regions of origin.

"While we will do all we can to address the humanitarian and protection needs, we fear that until the root causes of poverty, persecution and conflict are addressed, desperate people who have nothing left to lose will continue to risk their lives," she said.

http://www.reliefweb.int/rw/RWB.NSF/db9 ... enDocument
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Postby sharkbait » Fri Apr 27, 2007 3:30 pm

The GSAF did further investigation with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and report. At least 29 Fatalties (and possibly another 71) Somali & Ethiopian refugees beaten & thrown overboard by smugglers, they were killed by sharks.

These fatalties will never be counted by the ISAF even though they are confirmed, un-provoked shark attack fatalties.
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