A cargo carrying death: 60 illegal migrants suffocate to death while being trafficked

Smuggling of migrants have been a major issue for the African countries and the recent death of about 60 undocumented migrants, possibly believed to be Ethiopians, in a cargo truck in Mozambique’s north western Tete province have raised the risk bar quite high. Per the records of the International Office on Migration, Mozambique is a transit route for African migrants trying to reach South Africa, one of the continent’s largest economies.

The cargo truck started off from Malawi and was stopped by the officials at the check post when it entered Mozambique, near the Zambezi River. It was caught on March 24 when officials heard bashing noises coming from inside the container. The officials reported that apart from the 60 bodies who died because of shortage of breath as a result of lack of oxygen, they have also recovered 14 survivors.

The officials have the confession of the driver of the cargo who admitted of being hired to smuggle the migrants from Malawi to Mozambique. Keeping in mind the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, all the 14 survivors will undergo screening for COVID-19 and will be quarantined as said by the health officers.

By far, in 2020 itself, at least 200 illegal migrants, mostly from Ethiopia, Malawi, Egypt and Somalia, have been arrested for attempting to enter Tete province, the destination of most of them being South Africa. The death of the 60 migrants throws light upon the inhuman condition involved in the crime of human trafficking and projects towards a greater threat to the ideals of humanity.

Human trafficking is the major concern that has been addressed by the member states of the Non-Aligned Movement.

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