KRG working to identify migrants who drowned in English Channel: PM Barzani
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said on Thursday that his government is working to identify the 27 migrants who drowned in the English Channel while trying to reach the United Kingdom on Wednesday.
"I'm deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the 27 innocent lives in the English Channel last night," Barzani tweeted on Thursday.
The prime minister went on to note that some of the victims "appear to be Kurds".
"We are working to establish their identities," he added.
Barzani also extended his condolences to the victim's families.
"This is a potent reminder of the dangers of illegal migration and the smugglers who send people to their deaths," he said. "We must act together to stop them."
I'm deeply saddened by the tragic loss of 27 innocent lives in the English Channel last night. Some of the victims appear to be Kurds. We are working to establish their identities. Our thoughts are with their families.— Masrour Barzani (@masrour_barzani) November 25, 2021
French and British authorities on Wednesday reported that at least 27 migrants drowned off the northern French coast as they attempted to reach the United Kingdom.
Nearly 17 men, seven women, and three minors are among the victims, AFP reported.
Also, according to Sky News, those dead include a pregnant woman. Two from the group survived and were treated for hypothermia. Five individuals suspected of trafficking the migrants have been arrested.
Migrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, have been using small boats to try and cross the waterway to England.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and France's Emmanuel Macron agreed on Wednesday to ramp up joint efforts to disrupt these smuggling networks.
In a phone call with Prime Minister Barzani on Sunday evening, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian extended France's appreciation to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) for its efforts to combat the human smuggling networks exploiting migrants trying to reach Europe.