Twenty-five dead bodies believed to be of immigrants from Ethiopia have been found in a mass grave at Golong’ondo area within Mtangatanga Forest Reserve in Mzimba.
The grave containing migrants aged between 25 and 40 years old was found by some locals who went into the forest to collect honey. It is reported that a hyena had pulled out one of the bodies.
Police, prison, immigration officers and health officials rushed to the forest after the matter was reported to them.
Mzimba police Officer-in- Charge, Sydon Mpina, has told the local media that they believe the the graves contained bodies of illegal immigrants from either Somalia or Ethiopia.
He added that police were discussing with the district council and other stakeholders on proper burial of the bodies which were found in decomposed state.
District Commissioner Rodney Simwaka said in a memo that health workers were expected to conduct postmortem on the bodies to determine cause of death.
Group village headman Bwanaholo of the area said he was shocked by the discovery.
Illegal immigrants from Somali and Ethiopia usually enter Malawi through the Northern Region and are trafficked through various districts including Lilongwe on their way to Dedza where they cross into Mozambique with the aim of reaching South Africa.
Police in the Northern Region say between January and September this year, they have intercepted 221 migrants, 186 of whom were Ethiopian.
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