At least five migrants drowned and 50 went missing today when smugglers forced 180 Africans off a boat bound for Yemen, a day after a similar drama that left 29 dead, the International Organization for Migration said.
Twelve people are still missing after the drownings on Thursday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
Survivors managed to make their way to Shabwa province, along Yemen's Arabian Sea coastline, which is now under the control of Yemeni troops backed by the United States.
"The dead had been quickly buried by those who survived the smugglers' deadly actions", IOM said.
The migrants on this route were heading to countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen.
"The smugglers deliberately pushed the migrants into the waters since they feared that they would be arrested by the authorities once they reach the shore", an IOM emergency officer in Aden told AFP. The statement mentioned that the average age of the migrants was 16.
Yemen is one of a few routes that the migrants use to reach other countries.
Some 180 Ethiopian and Somali were forced into rough seas off Yemen by smugglers and 55 of them are presumed to have drowned, the United Nations migration agency has said. Migrants, a lot of them Ethiopians, try to make their way to oil-rich Gulf countries in hopes of finding jobs.
Medics provided care to dozens of survivors, but some left the beach before help arrived. "Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future", he said. According to the IOM, a high percentage of the migrants making the journey to Yemen are under the age of 18.
"Some are coming for the third time".
"They have forgotten us a little bit", Mr de Boeck said. The migrants are vulnerable to abuse by armed trafficking rings, many of them believed to be connected to the armed groups involved in the war.
In March, a helicopter opened fire on the vessel carrying over 140 Somali passengers in the Red Sea off the Yemen coast, killing 42 civilians and wounding another 34.
More than 111,500 migrants landed on Yemen's shores last year, up from around 100,000 the year before, according to the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, a grouping of global agencies that monitors migration in the area.