Djibouti

Red Sea boat disaster: Death toll rises to 52

BBC Monitoring

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The bodies of 52 people have been recovered from the red sea after two boats capsized off the coast of Djibouti, the UN migration agency says.

The incident happened about 30 minutes after the overloaded boats - with hundreds of migrants on board - set off in heavy seas from Godoria, in the northeast of the country, on Tuesday.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) added that 16 survivors had been rescued.

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"This tragic event demonstrates the risks that vulnerable migrants face as they innocently search for better lives,” said IOM's Lalini Veerassamy in a statement.

Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

Dozens die in Djibouti boat accident

Map showing Djibouti and neighbouring countries
BBC

At least 28 people have died after two boats capsized off the coast of Djibouti, the UN migration agency says.

The incident occurred about 30 minutes after the overloaded boats set off in heavy seas from Godoria on Tuesday.

One survivor said there were 130 people on his boat, but was not able to say how many passengers were on the other vessel.

A rescue and recovery operation is ongoing.

Djibouti has in recent years become a transit point for migrants heading to find work on the Arabian Peninsula.

Chinese-built free trade zone opens in Djibouti

BBC World Service

The first phase of a Chinese-built Free Trade Zone - billed as Africa's largest - opens today in Djibouti.

The nearly 50 sq km (31 sq miles) zone will house manufacturing and warehouse facilities, an export-processing area and a services centre.

It's expected to handle trade worth $7bn (£5.3bn) within two years, and create 15,000 jobs when complete.

With a strategic location on the Gulf of Aden, Djibouti already handles most imports for neighbouring Ethiopia, and aims to become a gateway to South Sudan, Somalia and the Great Lakes region.

A map showing the location of Djibouti, Ethiopia and Somalia.
BBC

The zone forms part of China's new chain of infrastructure investments in 60 countries. China already has a military base in Djibouti, as does the United States.