Mass Grave Discovered in Malawi
A mass grave was discovered in Malawi on Wednesday, October 19th. The grave, which had 25 bodies, was discovered in northern Malawi in a forest in an area known as the Mzimba District. The mass grave was discovered after a group of boys detected a foul odor coming from the area.
According to the BBC, the bodies discovered in the grave are allegedly those of illegal immigrants suspected to have been victims of human trafficking, with the dead people thought to be of Ethiopian origin, though this is unconfirmed. The following day, the bodies of four more men were found within the Mtangatanga Forest Reserve.
Malawi’s Minister of Homeland Security, Jean Sendeza, lamented the situation. “It is a sorry state. It is a pathetic situation,” she said. “As a government, we are really condemning this kind of activity. It’s not right, it’s not good.” Sendeza firmly stated that the police are investigating the matter and that autopsies would be conducted to determine the actual cause of the deaths.
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According to the BBC, Malawi is dealing with a human trafficking problem. It is alleged that Malawians are involved in the trafficking which sees people of East African origin trafficked from their countries to other nations via Malawi.
Ten Malawians were recently arrested for being part of an organization participating in human trafficking. Reports indicate the organization is involved in the trafficking of Ethiopians. A group of 72 Ethiopians was recently arrested while hiding in a forest.
Civil society organizations have called on authorities to decisively deal with the matter.
The government is reported to have increased the presence and control of authorities on roads and at border posts, especially in the country’s north.
Influential Malawians have been accused of having a hand in the trafficking of people into and out of Malawi. According to The Guardian, a Malawian political party was forced to suspend its regional secretary after discovering she had used party resources to bring illegal migrants into the country.
The nation’s former Minister of Home Affairs, Uladi Mussa, was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for fraudulently handing out passports to foreign nationals.