48 Malians drown in single day trying to reach Europe: government

2018-01-12 06:09


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bamako - Flags flew at half-mast in Mali on Thursday as the government announced 48 of its citizens drowned in the Mediterranean on a single day over the weekend, all trying to reach Europe.

The west African nation accounted for the fifth largest contingent of arrivals to Italy by sea last year, according to the International Organization for Migration, fleeing poverty, unemployment and instability.

"Forty-eight of our compatriots lost their lives in the Mediterranean on Sunday, January 7," said a foreign ministry statement issued late Wednesday.

Sixty-nine people escaped with their lives, including four children, and were identified on Monday in Libya by an embassy delegation, the statement added.

They will be sent back to Mali "as quickly as possible", it said.

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita announced 24 hours of national mourning and collective prayers on Friday for the victims, and ordered an investigation into the people smugglers responsible for transporting the migrants to Libya.

The foreign ministry urged parents to educate young people on the risks of irregular migration, a phenomenon across Africa that has taken the lives of thousands and pushed many more into modern-day slavery and long spells in detention centres in Libya.

"Despite all the campaigning to educate against irregular migration... and the efforts made to bring back our countrymen through voluntary return schemes, young people continue to risk this extremely dangerous course to go to Europe," the statement added.

Last year more than 117 000 migrants made the journey across the Mediterranean, while more than 3 000 lost their lives at sea.

For Italy, 2017 was a turning point: the country went from large-scale arrivals in the first six months to a sharp drop-off, thanks to controversial agreements in Libya.

Mali faces twin threats from warring armed factions in its north and a jihadist insurgency in the north and centre, along with the youth unemployment and a lack of opportunities that afflict many of its more peaceful neighbours.

Read more on:    egypt  |  mali  |  west africa  |  north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Senior PHP Developer

Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R480 000 - R720 000 Per Year

Mobile Developer

Cape Town
Goldman Tech Resourcing
R360 000 - R480 000 Per Year

Sales Representative

Cape Town
Pax Staffing Dynamix (Pty) Ltd
R8 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.