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New boat tragedy in the Gulf of Aden

GENEVA (21 December 2012) - “The plight and suffering of Somali boat people must stop,” says the UN Independent Expert on the situation of Human Rights in Somalia, Shamsul Bari, following a recent boat disaster in the Gulf of Aden, which claimed the lives of 55 Somali refugees and migrants.

The 55 people from Somalia and the Horn of Africa drowned or went missing on December 18, after their boat capsized off the Somali coast.

“This tragic incident shows the level of desperation of the people living in areas of Somalia which are still stricken by insecurity and the lack of enjoyment of basic economic, social and cultural rights,” said the human rights expert.

“Despite the recent security developments in the post-transition period, it is critical to find lasting and sustainable peace in Somalia to stop people from putting their lives at risk by undertaking dangerous journeys across the Gulf of Aden,” noted Bari.

“I urge Somali authorities at the national, regional and local levels to renew their efforts to address the root causes of the smuggling and trafficking in persons in Somalia, with the collaboration of the international community and the United Nations,” he said.

“In particular, I urge UN organizations on the ground to increase their efforts in raising awareness about the dangers of the perilous journey across the Gulf of Aden,” Bari said.

END

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