Ethiopian migrants die trying to reach South Africa


Seven Ethiopian migrants drowned after a boat carrying 13 people capsized off the coast of Tanzania en route to South Africa, Tanzanian police said.

Tanga Regional Police Commander Edward Bukombe said the boat went down on Monday off East Africa near Tanzania’s maritime border with Kenya.
“Of the people aboard, 12 were Ethiopians and another person, the boat captain who nationality is not known because he is still missing. Seven people died in the accident and five were rescued,” Bukombe told Reuters.

He said they were still searching for the missing person.

Bukombe said Tanzania’s immigration service was in touch with the Ethiopian Embassy to arrange proper burial arrangements and decide on how to deal with those rescued. “Questioning the survivors told us they were going to South Africa,” he said.

Bukombe added investigators had yet to identify who organised and financed the trip, saying the missing captain could have helped with the investigation.

He said it was not unusual for Tanzanian police to intercept and detain Ethiopian migrants on their way to South Africa, the continent’s largest and most developed economy, though migration was more common overland than by sea.