Friday, 22 June 2012

Boat tragedies on Lake Malawi,underscore risks for migrants, asylum seekers:UNHCR

UNHCR  has expressed concern over the death of 47 Ethiopians who drowned on Lake Malawi when  the boat in which they were sailing capsized. 

 UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edward said this during a press briefing, on Friday 22 June at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

Reports indicate that at least 60  Ethiopians drowned  in a boat capsizing incident on Lake Malawi. The exact number of deaths has not been determined.

 According to the reports , villagers around the lake found a dead body on Monday and buried it. On Tuesday another corpse was floating on the lake and the villagers also buried it. On Wednesday several bodies were seen floating on Lake Malawi and the police became involved and picked them up. The bodies were decomposed and were buried immediately.

According to Edward Six migrants who  survived the ordeal  are being interviewed by police at Karonga.

He disclosed that the  boat  left Tanzania on Sunday. "The government of Malawi has arrested three Malawians on suspicion that they facilitated the movement of the group, in collaboration with fellow Tanzanians." said Edward

"UNHCR has been seeing increased use of boats among migrants and asylum seekers traveling southwards from the Horn of Africa since January 2010 when a group of 106 Somalis arrived in the Cabo Delgado coast of Mozambique" said  Edward
  "Sadly, this is not the only boat disaster this week that has come to our attention. Our office in Canberra issued a statement overnight relating to a boat accident between Indonesia and Australia in which a number of people presumed to be asylum seekers lost their lives." worried Edward

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