Death of 27 migrants in the Channel: Johnson calls on France to more joint efforts

The death of 27 migrants on Wednesday in the sinking of their boat in the English Channel, an unprecedented tragedy on this migratory route, caused a shock wave in London and Paris, who agreed to “The emergency” to step up the fight against this traffic after weeks of tension.

French President Emmanuel Macron initially announced a death toll of 31, but it has been revised downwards by the Interior Ministry. Among the victims are 17 men, including two who died in hospital, seven women and “Three young people”, whose exact age is still unknown, Lille prosecutor Carole Etienne told AFP.

Two survivors “Apparently Somali and Iraqi” were also hospitalized and should be able to be heard shortly, she said. “France will not let the English Channel become a cemetery”, reacted Emmanuel Macron, claiming “An emergency meeting of European ministers”. He promised that everything would be “Implemented to find and condemn those responsible” of this shipwreck off Calais, described as “Tragedy” by Prime Minister Jean Castex.

In Calais, a priest on hunger strike to “join forces with the exiles”

“Emergency meeting of European ministers”

The French head of state demanded “An emergency meeting of European ministers concerned by the migration challenge” and assured that “Everything will be done to find and condemn those responsible” of this drama.

Its Prime Minister, Jean Castex, will hold an interministerial meeting on this issue this Thursday at 8:30 am with the Ministers of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, of Justice, Éric Dupond-Moretti, of the Armies, Florence Parly, of the Sea, Annick Girardin , of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari, of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, and the Secretary of State for Europe, Clément Beaune, according to his services.

“Shocked, revolted and deeply saddened”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on ” Sky News ” want to ” Do more “ with France to discourage illegal crossings, pointing to Franco-British disagreements. He thus claimed that the United Kingdom had «You times» to persuade other countries, “In particular the French”, from “To make things up to the situation”.

During an interview in the evening, Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron “Agreed on the urgency of stepping up joint efforts to prevent these deadly crossings”, according to a Downing Street spokesperson. They also insisted on “The importance of close collaboration with Belgian and Dutch neighbors as well as with partners on the continent”.

Immigration: we made fantasies come true

Dead bodies at the forensic institute

London and Paris had already agreed recently to strengthen their efforts to stop departures, after the arrival on 11 November of 1,185 migrants in England, a record. The tragedy, feared by the authorities and associations, is by far the deadliest since the soaring in 2018 of the migratory crossings of the Channel, in the face of the growing lockdown of the port of Calais and Eurotunnel, used until then by migrants. trying to rally England.

The rescue ships bringing back the victims docked in the evening in the port of Calais. The remains were during the night being transferred to the Lille forensic institute for autopsy.

The Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction (JIRS) of Lille was seized of the investigation, opened for “Help with irregular entry and stay in an organized group”, “Manslaughter and unintentional injury” and ” conspiracy “. The wreckage was seized and will be examined to clarify the causes of the sinking, said the prosecutor. Before this sinking, the human toll since January amounted to three dead and four missing, after six dead and three missing in 2020.

According to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, four smugglers suspected of being linked to the tragedy were arrested, but the prosecutor did not confirm this element. Gérald Darmanin said this Thursday morning on “RTL” that a fifth smuggler had been arrested.

Commission of inquiry condemns government migration policy

“Boat downright deflated”

The drama unfolded on a « long boat », a fragile inflatable boat with a flexible bottom whose use by smugglers has increased since the summer. The boat had left Dunkirk according to a source close to the file.

“We recovered six bodies adrift”, said Charles Devos, the boss of the star Notre-Dame du Risban of the SNSM of Calais, describing “A downright deflated inflatable boat”.

“We recovered six bodies adrift. I had a wife, a pregnant wife, and a little boy of maybe 18 years old. Not all of the people I picked up had a life jacket. With the temperature of the water, hypothermia quickly arrived ”, he also testified at the microphone of “ RTL ».

Two helicopters and three boats were notably dispatched during the rescue. About fifty people gathered in the evening near the port, provided with candles. “Darmanin, assassin, you have blood on your hands”, they chanted in particular. The Channel “Is in the process of being transformed into an open-air cemetery”, was alarmed Pierre Roques, of the Auberge des Migrants, a local association.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “Shocked and upset”, estimated that “Only coordinated and united efforts […] will prevent further tragedies ”. Attempts to cross the Channel on board small boats have doubled in the past three months, the maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea, Philippe Dutrieux, had recently warned.

By choosing this promotional subscription route, you accept the deposit of an analysis cookie by Google.

As of 20 November, 31,500 migrants had left the coasts since the start of the year and 7,800 migrants had been rescued. A trend that has not abated despite the winter temperatures. According to London, 22,000 migrants made the crossing over the first ten months of the year.

Leave a Comment