Ethiopia confirms nationals among dead in Mozambique cargo container

Ethiopia confirms nationals among dead in Mozambique cargo container

The Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) confirmed on Wednesday that Ethiopian nationals are among the 64 migrants found dead in a Mozambique cargo container.

"MoFA has learnt with shock the death of Ethiopians and others in horrible circumstances in Mozambique on Tuesday," the ministry said in a statement.

"The Ministry is also relieved to learn that 14 people have survived the horrible condition," it said.

Ethiopia is working closely with the Mozambican government and the Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa to further investigate the matter, the statement said.

On Tuesday, Mozambique found the bodies of 64 migrants killed by asphyxiation in a container. Another 14 survived in the container in Mozambique's northern province of Tete. Most of the 78 migrants are believed to have come from Ethiopia.

The truck driver is reportedly a Mozambican, and the vehicle illegally entered Mozambique from Malawi.

According to the Ethiopia Ministry of Foreign Affairs, human traffickers charge an average of 3,500 to 4,000 U.S. dollars to smuggle a single individual from Ethiopia to South Africa.

Despite a growing economy and public awareness campaigns on the dangers of human trafficking by the Ethiopian government, thousands of Ethiopians are trafficked to South Africa where they are mainly engaged in the informal economy.