from ARIMANDO DOMINGOS in Maputo, Mozambique
MAPUTO, (CAJ News) – THE 64 people that were found dead in a shipping container in Mozambique were Ethiopians travelling to South Africa, authorities have confirmed.
Mozambique’s National Migration Service (SENAMI) disclosed the information to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The information has been gathered from the 14 individuals that survived the tragedy.
The deceased and survivors were found in a sealed shipping container on the back of a truck at a checkpoint in the town of Tete.
The men were carrying no documents, according to IOM.
“The survivors are deeply traumatised,” Sandra Black, a senior official at IOM in Mozambique, said.
IOM and SENAMI are providing assistance to the survivors.
They are being treated for severe dehydration and exhaustion.
Among items provided are food and clothing
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2019, South Africa was home to about 4,2 million migrants, and 290 000 asylum seekers and refugees.
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Zimbabwe were the main source countries.
IOM disclosed that vehicle accidents have claimed the lives of nearly 70 migrants in Mozambique over the last five years.
They were travelling to South Africa. Most were Ethiopians.
In 2017, 11 Malawians died in an accident in Tsangano, just inside Mozambique’s border with Malawi.
Two years ago, 12 Ethiopians died and 15 were injured in another crash, also in Tsagano.
Despite its economic decline and sporadic tensions between migrants and locals over waning employment opportunities, South Africa remains a destination of choice for migrants fleeing problems in their countries.
– CAJ News