From Arizona to Eritrea, a deadly start to 2017 for migrants: IOM

More than 400 migrant deaths have been recorded so far in 2017, including on the Mediterranean crossings to Europe from North Africa and the route into the United States from Mexico, the International Organization for

More than 400 migrant deaths have been recorded so far in 2017, including on the Mediterranean crossings to Europe from North Africa and the route into the United States from Mexico, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday.

The deaths were recorded in the slow winter months and the IOM fears the toll will rise in the warmer weather, spokesman Joel Millman told a U.N. briefing in Geneva.

“Forty days into the year we’ve recorded almost 420 deaths worldwide of migrants, which is a rate of about 10 a day,” Millman said. “That is half of last year’s total rate.”

The IOM receives migration data sporadically. This week an update from Pima county in Arizona added 15 deaths to the total from a single county on the U.S.-Mexican border. It was unclear when the deaths occurred, he said.

“We’ve seen drownings in the Rio Bravo on the other side of the border at a much more robust pace than this time last year. We don’t know if this is reflecting more traffic or just a very unlucky stretch. It’s impossible to speculate on the motives,” Millman said.

Asked if people could be rushing to enter the United States before U.S. President Donald Trump tightens border controls, he said the strengthening U.S. economy might also be a lure, spurring an earlier rush than the usual mid-March “commuting season”.

In Europe, migrants and refugees are crossing the Mediterranean in far smaller numbers than a year ago, after the route between Turkey and Greece was effectively shut down, but traffic has become much heavier on the smaller and more dangerous route between North Africa and Italy.

Most of those making the trip are from West Africa, but most of those dying are from East Africa, specifically Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Although many bodies are never recovered from the sea, information from activists tracking social media for enquiries about missing family members show those nationalities are most at risk.

Many other migrants die in the desert or in detention centers in Libya, or are killed along the way.

“Eritreans are known to be Christians, and quite a number of them have a cross tattooed on their foreheads. That’s always been a source of great danger crossing parts of North Africa and into the Sinai,” Millman said.

In South America, migrant mortality so far this year is twice the rate of a year ago. “That doesn’t bode for a very safe year ahead,” Millman said.

Reuters (Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

 

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4 COMMENTS
  • Daniel February 10, 2017

    The sinking of the poorest 24 yrs old nation – state called Eritrea itself.
    After all, all those who perished in this incident did so in the very process
    of jumping off the sinking ship called “Eritrea”.
    Once everything that is worth keeping collectively has been taken away from them,
    the new generation feels that the only things worth dying for are their naked individual
    selves – each for himself/herself only. The tragedy of evil savage banditry ghedli mendef’s Eritrea.
    It sadly brings me back to my beautiful brilliant sister Selam Kidane’s observation:
    The fathers and mothers (all from alien loving evil-ghedli) died liberating the country
    called Eritrea …… the children are dying running away from it…… the irony …… the tragedy …….
    the absurd reality of being Eritrean. ………. Selam Kidane of Asmarino.com

  • Daniel February 10, 2017

    No other people have worked for so long, so hard and with such consistency against their self-interest,
    this tragedy and madness remains especially true of poor Kebessa Christian Eritrea.
    The colonial aspirations of the evil-ghedli generation, the one looking back to the fascist Italian colonial
    past and the other illegal immigrant nomad moslem looking across the sea at the savage Arab barbarism
    for inspiration and emulation. The evil-ghedli generation’s deep urge to build a colonial Eritrea, a fact that has
    been camouflaged for so long with over abundance of revolutionary empty rhetoric, was to be unmasked with the independence of the nation. For the poor youth it took so many crisis to realize that there is nothing in this colonial Eritrea worth having. All they got from it was colonial oppression in its pure unadulterated form, as savage evil-ghedli tegadelti/shefatu bandits found the proper context to fully enforce their colonial aspirations.
    Soon after, the mass exodus was on a full swing. What a tragedy for the “bella/hilliwa Eritrea”!!!!!

    • Daniel February 10, 2017

      addition: please read as ‘the other “rootless” illegal immigrant nomad moslem……………’ thanks.

  • Degoli February 11, 2017

    We thought we were “Arabs and our language is Arabic …” but the Arabs themselves would not accept our newly acquired Arabized identity even the inferiority laced Arab wanabes who burned the Tigre language books and hated the Tigrinya language, including the newly arrivals from Shire and Wello of Ethiopia in Eritrea are running away from the savage Arab Muslim world to the Christian West because the Arabs treat them as fakes and Abid slaves.

    This is a tragedy made in Eritrea and by Eritreans because they keep on betraying their true identity to become Arabized, and the misery continues to create a new fake identity.

    “Most of those making the trip are from West Africa, but most of those dying are from East Africa, specifically Eritrea and Ethiopia.

    Although many bodies are never recovered from the sea, information from activists tracking social media for enquiries about missing family members show those nationalities are most at risk.”

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