19 Ethiopians suffocated in truck found in Zambia

19 Ethiopians suffocated in truck found in Zambia

An international migration watcher says 19 Ethiopian migrants suffocated to death earlier this month along Zambia’s border with Congo inside a container truck, where survivors inside banged on the sides until border officials opened it.

The International Organization for Migration in Geneva provided new details Friday about the deaths discovered June 16 near the Zambian town of Mansa.

Spokesman Joel Millman said initial reports mistakenly said the victims were Somalis. He said migrants from around Africa have traveled toward South Africa in search of economic opportunity for years, but IOM has never seen such a high number of deaths from suffocation in an overcrowded truck in a single incident.

IOM said a total of 95 Ethiopians were aboard the truck operated by a suspected human-trafficking network.

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