Ethiopia to Send Experts to Zambia after Migrants Found Dead

ADDIS ABABA – Authorities say they will send an investigation team to Zambia after the bodies of 27 men, believed to be migrants from Ethiopia, were found on the outskirts of Lusaka on Sunday.

Preliminary investigations showed the victims – all males aged between 20 and 38 – had been dumped along a road by unknown people, according to Zambian Police. The victims were likely suffocated to death while in transit.

Their bodies have been taken to Zambia University Teaching Hospital for identification and post-mortems to determine the exact cause of death.

A sole survivor was found alive in the early hours of Sunday morning and rushed to a local hospital for treatment, Zambian police said.

Govt to send experts

“The Government of Ethiopia expresses its deepest sorrow over the tragedy,” the ministry of Foreign affairs said in a statement on Monday.

“It is collaborating with the Government of Zambia to send experts to the area to confirm the identities of the citizens who allegedly lost their lives while attempting to cross into South Africa illegally,” the Ministry added.

Ethiopian migrants often use Zambia as transit to reach South Africa.

Though reports of deaths in transit there are rare, this is the second deadly incident that occurred in the past few months.

In October, Malawian authorities discovered 25 bodies of Ethiopian migrants in a mass grave. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding those who passed away in Malawi is still ongoing, according to the Ministry of foreign affairs

These incidents show the “continued need for coordinated efforts from citizens and relevant Government agencies to reduce the harm that human trafficking causes to our citizens,” the ministry added.