At least 75 Somalis have drowned off the coast of Yemen while trying to cross from Somalia to the Arab country, a Yemeni official said.

Somali asylum

Halkaan ka akhri

75 Somali migrants drown

Somali asylum seekers

At least 75 Somalis have drowned off the coast of Yemen while trying to cross from Somalia to the Arab country, a Yemeni official said.

The captain of the vessel, carrying more than 250 migrants, forced them to abandon the ship and asked them to swim ashore. About 180 survived, the official from southern Abyan province told Reuters on Thursday.

Many African migrants try to reach Yemen, which they see as a gateway to other parts of the Middle East, and the West.

Rising numbers of Somali refugees are now seeking asylum in neighboring countries to escape the increasingly volatile situation in many parts of their homeland, particularly in Mogadishu, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, some 15,000 Somalis have sought asylum in Kenya, Djibouti, Ethiopia and even further afield in eastern Sudan, said UNHCR.

Somalis are fleeing continuing fighting between Islamist insurgents and Ethiopian troops supporting Somalia’s government forces.

Forty aid agencies have warned that lack of food, increasing insecurity and a looming drought presage a humanitarian catastrophe in Somalia, which has been without a functioning central government since 1991, when warlords ousted dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

More than a million Somalis have become internally displaced after fleeing their homes, mainly in the strife-torn capital, Mogadishu, to internal displacement sites in outlying districts, UNHCR said, quoting end-2007 estimates by aid agencies.

An estimated 64,000 people have fled their homes in the capital since the beginning of the year — an average of about 20,000 a month.

Source http://www.presstv.ir/Detail.aspx?id=49367┬žionid=351020501

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