France to bury victims of sea tragedy
At least 27 migrants drowned while attempting to reach UK
The victims of a deadly shipwreck disaster, who were refused passage to Europe while alive, will be buried in France with the government announcing Tuesday that it will take responsibility for burials on its territory.
Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said the government decided to take care of the burials as requested by President Emmanuel Macron.
“We will work with the municipalities that agree to welcome the deceased,” he said on Twitter.
At least 27 migrants were found dead in the sea on Nov. 24 while attempting to cross to Britain, after their inflatable boat sank off the coast of Calais.
The incident is considered the deadliest, with the largest loss of life in the English Channel in recent years.
Among the dead are 17 men, seven women, including a pregnant woman and three children, who were hoping to find a safe passage to Britain.
The identity of one of the victims was confirmed to be Maryam Nuri Mohamed Amin, 24, a Kurdish woman from northern Iraq, who risked her life to meet her fiancee in the UK.
The identities and nationalities of other victims have yet to be known. Two survivors are reportedly from Iraq and Somalia.
The tragedy sparked a new feud between France and Britain about “responsibility” and “lack of action” to prevent illegal crossings.
Although leaders from both countries hold smuggling networks responsible for luring hapless migrants into dangerous journeys, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson published a letter to President Emmanuel Macron on Twitter proposing that France take back migrants who have crossed the Channel.
France and European countries have decided to strengthen their fight against smuggling networks and deploy aerial surveillance to deter migrants from illegal crossings.