23 March 2019

Tanzania: 9 Illegal Immigrants From Ethiopia Buried in Tanzania

Morogoro — Nine Ethiopian citizens out of the 14 who died while allegedly being trafficked through Tanzania in December were finally buried on Friday, March 22, 2019.

Their bodies had spent over three months in a mortuary at the Morogoro Regional Referral Hospital. Relatives of the other five took the bodies to Ethiopia for burial.

The deceased are among the 26 illegal immigrants from Ethiopia who, on December 30 last year, were abandoned by a truck driver at Sangasanga on the Iringa-Morogoro road.

At the burial ceremony on Friday, Morogoro Regional Commissioner Steven Kebwe said the illegal immigrants died due to lack of oxygen while they were being transported to South Africa via Tanzania.

"Tanzania and Ethiopia enjoy a longstanding partnership, but when it comes to illegal immigration, we won't hesitate to continue detaining illegal immigrants entering the country, not only Ethiopians," said Dr Kebwe.

Acting Ethiopian ambassador to Tanzania Yonas Yosef Sanbe expressed concern over human trafficking involving youths from Southern Ethiopia to foreign countries like South Africa via Tanzania and Kenya.

"Illegal immigration is a result of the Ethiopian youths' desire to have a better life in foreign countries," said Mr Sanbe.

He called for regional efforts bringing together representatives from Tanzania, Kenya and Ethiopia to discuss ways to address the problem.

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