January 29, 2022

The majority of migrants drowned in the English Channel at the end of November have now been identified

They had drowned in the English Channel on the night of November 24 while trying to reach the English coast. Twenty-six of the twenty-seven people who died that night were “Formally identified”, announced the Paris prosecutor in a press release on Tuesday, December 14.

The victim identification commission, held on Monday, confirmed “The identity of sixteen Kurdish people from Iraq, including four women aged 22-46, a 16-year-old adolescent, a 7-year-old child and ten men aged 19-37, as well as that of a man 23-year-old Kurdish from Iran “, reports the press release. “Three Ethiopians were also identified, including two women aged 22 and 25 and a man aged 46, a Somali woman aged 33, four Afghan men aged between 24 and 40 and an Egyptian man aged 20. “ A final body remains to be identified.

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Multiplication of crossing attempts

This shipwreck is the “Worst accident”, according to the maritime prefecture of the Channel and the North Sea, since the significant increase, in 2018, of migratory crossings due to the increasing lockdown of the port of Calais and Eurotunnel, used until then by migrants trying to rally England.

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Attempts to migrate across the Channel on board small boats have doubled in the past three months, warned, on November 19, the maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea, Philippe Dutrieux. As of November 20, 31,500 migrants had left the coast since the start of the year and 7,800 migrants had been rescued, he said. According to London, 22,000 migrants made the crossing over the first ten months of the year. The British Press Association (PA) has estimated the figure at more than 25,700, three times more than in the whole of 2020.

Mr. Dutrieux explained this phenomenon in particular by “The cynicism of the organizations that are behind these passages, which throw migrants into the water because it is a business that pays well”. Four arrests had been announced by the French authorities in the wake of the sinking for their alleged involvement in the incident.

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Le Monde with AFP and Reuters