Malawi police find more bodies near mass grave that contained 25 Ethiopians, one Nauruan, and two South Koreans.
Malawian police recovered more bodies from a mass grave in Lilongwe that contained 25 Ethiopians, one Nauruan and two South Koreans, the country’s Home Affairs Ministry said on Sunday.
Police received reports on Saturday that bodies were buried in what was believed to be a graveyard at a construction site, where they were interred for safety reasons. They took over the site on Sunday.
“It is very unfortunate we now have to deal with these new reports of the discovery of multiple people buried at the same places with the same grave markers,” Home Affairs Minister Linole Mphoko said in a statement on Sunday, without giving a timeframe for when the graves would be cleared.
“We will ensure the families are notified immediately by tracing the relatives of the dead as soon as possible,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 5,300 people from Ethiopia’s West African coastal states of Benin, Burkina Faso and Togo are thought to be buried in mass graves in South Africa. At least 648 were said to be buried in three different graves in South Africa in July of last year, according to the group’s South African chapter.
The country had an estimated population of 20,000 Ethiopians in 2007, and the figure has dropped to about half that in recent years.
The Ethiopians are believed to have been killed during the country’s bloody 15-year civil war.
The United Nations said in 2010 that the country is one of the most deadly in the world for refugees. The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, in its annual report for last year listed only two countries – Syria and Somalia – as country of origin for more refugees than Malawi.
In 2007, the UNHCR estimated that there were about 3,200 refugees in Malawi.
The country has previously faced criticism for its handling of the recent discovery of thousands of bodies, in addition to those buried elsewhere.
Since the war ended in 2005, the government has been criticized for failing to properly identify or relocate