The chairman of the Kurdish regional authorities in Iraq mentioned on Thursday that Iraqi Kurds have been among the many victims. Authorities are working to determine their identification, Masood Barzani posted on Twitter, “Our thoughts are with their families.”
French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson each expressed horror on the tragedy, with Macron saying his nation wouldn’t enable Chanel to change into a cemetery. The leaders agreed to step up joint efforts to cease migrant crossings – which have elevated dramatically this yr – but in addition accused one another of not doing sufficient.
In a cellphone name on Wednesday evening, Macron went forward and urged Johnson to cease politicizing the migrant disaster for home political acquire, in accordance with a French readout of their dialog.
On Thursday morning too, the finger-raising course of continued between the junior leaders.
The Member of Parliament from Dover, England, the place many migrants from France come from, informed CNN the deaths within the channel have been “completely foreseen” and put the issue as a border policing situation, the answer to which lies in France.
“It was an absolutely visionary tragedy that sooner or later one of these boats would capsize and people would die,” Natalie Elfike informed CNN close to the port of Dover on Thursday.
“People are safe in France, and the best way to keep people safe is to keep them on the shore, not in the hands of smugglers in the middle of the channel,” he mentioned.
The British politician mentioned that the French “stand where people are getting into boats and they are not stopping them. This is where policy needs to be changed, on the French side.”
Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Gerald Dormanin urged extra assist from European neighbors, telling radio station RTL on Thursday that France “cannot be the only one who can fight against smugglers.”
“We are saying this to our Belgian pals… we’re saying this to our German pals… and we’re saying this to our English pals that they need to assist us struggle in opposition to worldwide smugglers who Play alongside the boundaries,” said Darmain.
Asked why Britain attracts so many illegal immigrants, Darmann pointed to Britain’s ways of managing migration and its thriving labor market. “Clearly there’s mismanagement of immigration into the UK,” he said.
In the coming days, Dormanin will hold meetings to better prevent “arrivals on French soil” coming from the southern, northern and eastern migration routes, President Macron told reporters on Thursday. By the time these migrants reach the English Channel it is “too late”, he mentioned of the deadly crossing.
Macron said France would continue to use drones and reservists in response to the situation – and sought additional mobilization from Britain’s military. He said that both France and Britain should work together to end the smugglers’ network.
Meanwhile, UK Immigration Minister Kevin Foster told the BBC on Thursday that his government is also determined to “break” the “actually dangerous enterprise mannequin” of people trafficking.
This includes increasing penalties for trafficking to life in prison and improving “protected” immigration routes directly from areas of conflict or refugee camps, he said. Foster said Britain has started giving France $72 million in installments to deal with the crisis.
a fatal crossing
Five people-smugglers have now been arrested in connection with Wednesday’s fatal sea crossing, Darmanin told RTL on Thursday. He said one of the smugglers arrested Wednesday night had a “German license plate” and that he “purchased these boats in Germany.”
Darmanin said the survivors of the tragedy are two Somali and Iraqi citizens who suffered “extreme hypothermia” and were transferred to a hospital in Calais, northern France. According to Darmanin, five of the 27 dead are women, of whom one is still missing.
The narrow waterway between Britain and France is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Refugees and migrants fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in the world’s poorest or war-torn countries, hoping to claim asylum or economic opportunities in the UK, run the risk of dangerous crossings that are often unfit for travel and traffickers. at the mercy of.
Darmanin mentioned the migrants’ dinghy had collapsed, and when rescuers arrived it was “blown up like an inflatable backyard pool”, according to Reuters.
Despite Wednesday’s tragedy, desperate people continue to make the dangerous journey across the Channel. The UK Press Association reported that a group in life jackets and blankets were seen walking together on a lifeboat arriving in Dover on Thursday morning.
Migrants once sought to smuggle themselves to and from France or by rail on trucks regularly crossing the Channel. But in recent years the route has become more expensive, with people-smugglers charging thousands of euros for each attempt.
So far this year, more than 25,700 people have crossed the English Channel in small boats to the UK – three times the total for the whole of 2020, according to data compiled by the PA Media news agency. On Wednesday alone, French authorities rescued 106 people. Various boats were washed away in the Channel, and more than 200 people made the crossing.
CNN’s Mia Alberti, Mick Craver, Nick Robertson, Mohamed Tawfiq and Lindsay Isaacs contributed to this report