The UN migration agency says two boats capsized off Godoria, a locality in northeast Obock region, "due to overloading and heavy surges."

Officials search for survivors in Godoria, Djibouti. Photo: IOM.
Officials search for survivors in Godoria, Djibouti. Photo: IOM. (

The death toll from the sinking of two migrant boats off the coast of Djibouti rose to 28 on Wednesday, the UN migration agency said.

"Twenty-three bodies were recovered this morning and the coast guard continues (its) search," Lalini Veerassamy, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) chief of mission in Djibouti told AFP, a day after five people were found dead.

Citing local witnesses, IOM said the boats capsized roughly 30 minutes after leaving "due to overloading and heavy surges" off Godoria, a locality in the Obock region of northeast Djibouti.

More than 130 migrants were missing, according to initial reports.

The vessels were heading to Yemen, a gateway to Gulf countries where many migrants hope to find jobs and better lives, said Joel Millman, spokesman for IOM.

There was no immediate information on the nationalities or itinerary of those missing.

IOM manages a migrant response centre in the area, where over 500 migrants are being assisted ahead of repatriation to their countries of origin under the voluntary return programme, the statement said.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies