Mozambique buries 64 undocumented Ethiopians in a mass grave

APA-Maputo (Mozambique)

Mozambican authorities in the western province of Tete have buried in a mass grave all the 64 illegal Ethiopian immigrants, found dead of asphyxiation on Tuesday in a container truck in Moatize town as they attempted to transit from Malawi to neighbouring South Africa, APA can report on Wednesday.

 The authorities explained that the 14 survivors of the tragedy have been quarantined and screened for coronavirus in Tete city,  but they are reported to have tested negative.

 Instead they showed to have high fever, believed to be connected to the hash conditions in which they were travelling, and are hypoglycaemics. 

The spokesperson of the Tete provincial migration service, Amelia Direito detailed that the burial was the result of a 24-hour multi-sector work, which included placing identification etiquette in each body before burial for subsequent work. 

She said coordinated work, involving the governments of Mozambique and Ethiopia and the International Organization for Migration,  is under way for subsequent steps for the 64 dead citizens and the 14 survivors of Ethiopia.

“As to the 64 illegal Ethiopian citizens, the burial has been held today (Wednesday) in the city of Tete. The bodies were numbered for their identification and the Ethiopian embassy has already contacted the Tete provincial migration service for the subsequent work,"Direito told a media briefing in Tete city on Wednesday.

She added that the survivors wouldl undergo some procedures linked to the issue. "We are doing the work in coordination with the embassy and the IOM. As you can see two Mozambican citizens have been detained in connection with the case.", she explained.

She further urged "Mozambicans not to abide by criminal acts such as assisting illegal immigrants and transport them in deplorable conditions." 

The official added that faced with this sad situation, the migration authorities and other border protection forces would beef up control of container and tank trucks.

The undocumented Ethiopians have sneaked into Mozambique from Malawi with the assistance of local and Malawian facilitators who transported them in a shipping cargo container truck.

They were believed to be on their way to South Africa, the African continent's largest economy.


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