World news: London and Paris in shock after the most terrible migration tragedy in the Channel

The death of 27 migrants on Wednesday in the sinking of their boat in the English Channel, an undisputed tragedy on this migratory route, caused a shock wave in London and Paris, who agreed on the « urgency » to intensify the fight against this migration. traffic after weeks of tension.

French President Emmanuel Macron had initially announced a death toll of 31, but this was revised downwards by the Minister of the Interior.
Among the victims are 17 men, including two died in hospital, seven women and « three young people », whose exact age is still unknown, said AFP the prosecutor of Lille (north), Carole Etienne.
Two survivors « apparently Somali and Iraqi » were also hospitalized and should be able to be heard shortly, she indicated.
« France will not let the Channel become a cemetery, » responded Emmanuel Macron, calling for « an emergency meeting of European ministers ».
He promised that everything would be « implemented to find and condemn those responsible » for this shipwreck off the coast of Calais, described as « tragedy » by Prime Minister Jean Castex.
« Shocked, revolted and deeply saddened, » British Prime Minister Boris Johnson assured Sky News that he wanted to « do more » with France to discourage illegal crossings, pointing to Franco-British disagreements.
Speaking in the evening, Mr Johnson and Mr Macron « agreed on the urgency of stepping up joint efforts to prevent these deadly crossings, » according to a Downing Street spokesperson.
– Autopsies –
They also insisted on « the importance of a close collaboration with the Belgian and Dutch neighbors as well as with the partners of the continent ».
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 flight in 2018 of the migratory crossings of the Channel, in the face of the growing lockdown of the port of Calais and Eurotunnel, borrowed 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 medical-legal institute for autopsy.
The Specialized Interregional Jurisdiction (JIRS) of Lille was seized of the investigation, opened for « help the irregular entry and stay in organized gang », « homicide and involuntary injuries » and « criminal association ».
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 had risen to three dead and four missing, after six dead and three missing in 2020.
According to the Minister of the Interior Grald Darmanin, four smugglers suspected of being in connection with the tragedy were arrested, but the prosecutor did not confirm this element.
– « Body the drive » –
The tragedy took place on a « long boat », a fragile inflatable boat with a flexible bottom whose use by smugglers has increased since the summer. The boat left Dunkirk according to a source familiar with the matter.
« We recovered six bodies at the drive, » said Charles Devos, the boss of the Notre-Dame du Risban star of the Calais SNSM, describing « a completely deflated inflatable boat ».
Two helicopters and three boats were notably dropped during the rescue.
About fifty people gathered in the evening near the port, provided with candles. « Darmanin, murderer, you have blood on your hands, » they notably scandalized.
La Manche « is in the process of transforming itself into an open-air cemetery », alarmed Pierre Roques, of the Auberge des Migrants, a local association.
The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), « shocked and overwhelmed », estimated that « only coordinated and united efforts (…) will make it possible to prevent further tragedies ».
Attempts to cross the Channel aboard small boats have doubled in the past three months, had recently warned the maritime prefect of the Channel and the North Sea, Philippe Dutrieux.
As of 20 November, 31,500 migrants had left the coast since the start of the year and 7,800 migrants had been rescued. A trend that has not dropped despite the winter temperatures.
According to London, 22,000 migrants made it through the first ten months of the year.
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By Joe JACKSON – 2021 AFP

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