14 Ethiopian immigrants found dead in Morogoro

01Jan 2019
The Guardian
14 Ethiopian immigrants found dead in Morogoro

FOURTEEN presumed illegal migrants from Ethiopia have been found dead in an abandoned vehicle in Morogoro Region, police said yesterday.

Morogoro Regional Police Commander Wilbroad Mutafungwa

Morogoro Regional Police Commander Wilbroad Mutafungwa said the aliens were found dead at Mindu on the outskirts of Morogoro municipality – along the Tanzania-Zambia highway.

He said that there were 26 illegal migrants on board, but 14 of them had already died, and five are receiving medical treatment at the Morogoro Regional Hospital, while seven people weren’t affected.

The regional police chief said that the incident happened on Sunday, whereby 13 illegal migrants were found dead and one died early Monday morning at the hospital.

He said that there were indications that the immigrants were on their way to South Africa via Malawi or Zambia, apparently in search for “green pastures”.

The RPC said that the whereabouts of the driver of the vehicle in which they are believed to have been travelling are yet to be established.

The region’s acting medical officer, Dr Francis Semwene, said the 14 people died of suffocation “as the vehicle carrying them was too small to safely accommodate all the 26 people found on board”.

Meanwhile, Morogoro regional immigration officer Safina Mhindi said that it wasn’t unclear whether the migrants’ bodies would be buried in Tanzania or back in their home country.

She appealed to Tanzanian nationals to desist from hosting or otherwise helping illegal immigrants, warning that anyone found doing so risks legal action “including prosecution”.

Tanzania is the main gateway for illegal immigrants, particularly those destined for South Africa.

In May 2017, eight bodies of suspected illegal migrants from Ethiopia were found in an abandoned truck in southern Ruvuma Region.

Dismas Kisusi, then standing in as Ruvuma RPC, was quoted as saying that the bodies were found in a village located a few kilometers from the Mbinga District headquarters – some 1,160km from Dar es Salaam.



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