Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 10th 2017 Contents A28 world
guardian.co.tt Thursday, August 10, 2017
JOHANNESBURG---Up to 50
migrants from Somalia
and Ethiopia were "delib-
erately drowned" when a
smuggler forced them into
the sea off Yemen's coast,
the UN migration agency
said yesterday, calling the
drownings "shocking and
for Migration staffers found
the shallow graves of 29 of the
migrants on a beach in Shabwa
during a routine patrol, the
agency's statement said.
The dead were buried by
those who survived.
At least 22 migrants re-
mained missing, the IOM
said. The passengers' aver-
age age was around 16, the
The narrow waters between
the Horn of Africa and Yemen have
been a popular migration route despite
Yemen's ongoing conflict. Migrants try
to make their way to the oil-rich Gulf
The smuggler forced more than 120 mi-
grants into the sea yesterday morning as they
approached Yemen's coast, the IOM statement
"The survivors told our colleagues on the beach
that the smuggler pushed them to the sea when he saw
some 'authority types' near the coast," said Laurent de
Boeck, the IOM's chief of mission in Yemen.
"They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to
Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants
to bring to Yemen on the same route."
IOM staffers provided aid for 27 surviving migrants who
remained on the beach, while other migrants left.
De Boeck called the suffering of migrants on the route enor-
mous, especially during the current windy season on the Indian
"Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better
future," he said.
The IOM says about 55,000 migrants have left Horn
of Africa nations for Yemen since January, with most
from Somalia and Ethiopia. A third of them are estimated
to be women.
Despite the fighting in Yemen, African migrants con-
tinue to arrive in the war-torn country where there is no
central authority to prevent them from traveling
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.
The conflict itself is a deadly risk. In March, Somalia's gov-
ernment blamed the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen for an
attack on a boat that killed at least 42 Somali refugees
off Yemen's coast.
Some Somalis are desperate to avoid
years of chaos at home with attacks by
homegrown extremist group al-Shabab
and deadly drought.
Some Ethiopians have left home after
months of deadly anti-government pro-
tests and a ten-month state of emergency.
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 international agencies that
monitors migration in the area. (AP)
In this image taken from video, a woman watches
as migrants scatter from a rubber dingy beached
on the coast at Cadiz, southern Spain, yesterday.
Beachgoers watched as around two dozen
suspected migrants ran up the beach.
Disembarkations by migrants on Spanish beaches
aren't common but have happened before,
especially at Spain's north African enclave cities
of Melilla and Ceuta, which border Morocco.
NEW YORK---In a single morning, city courts
yesterday threw out over 640,000 warrants for
people who didn't show up in court or pay fines
after being ticketed for minor offences years ago.
The move---requested by prosecutors and hailed by the
mayor---marks a sweeping step in city officials' efforts
to promote what they see as a more fair and workable
approach to low-level offences. But one of the city's five
district attorneys said the dismissals sent a problematic
signal about law-breaking.
Applause broke out among politicians, clergy mem-
bers and others gathered in a Brooklyn courtroom after
143,532 warrants there were cleared in no longer than it
took Criminal Court Judge Frederick Arriaga to say: "The
court will grant the motion to dismiss each case for the
furtherance of justice."
"Someone who owes a $25 fine should not be arrested
and brought down to central booking and spend 20 or 24
hours in a cell next to a hardened criminal. That's not fair,
and that's not justice," acting Brooklyn District Attorney
Eric Gonzalez said.
But Staten Island DA Michael McMahon steered clear.
"I believe that issuing blanket amnesty for these of-
fences is unfair to those citizens who responsibly appear in
court and sends the wrong message about the importance
of respecting our community and our laws," he said in
a statement, noting that he's supported initiatives that
invite people to appear in person to clear their records.
The warrants date back a decade or longer and stem
from summonses for nonviolent, small-scale offences
such as littering, open-container drinking, being in a
park after hours or walking an unleashed dog.
Many people didn't realise a warrant had been is-
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