The president of Gambia has blamed the deaths of more than 500 Gambian migrants over the past five years on “man-made sinking, capsizing” of boats and called for a United Nations investigation, Reuters reports.
The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration estimates that almost 3,000 migrants, mostly Africans and Middle Easterners seeking refuge, have drowned in shipwrecks this year alone.
While speaking before world leaders at the annual U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, President Yahya Jammeh condemned the "very dangerous, racist and inhuman behavior of deliberately causing boats carrying Black Africans to sink.”
"If these boats are able to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea only to sink on European coasts, we must find out what deadly mysterious force exists on the European Mediterranean coasts that causes boats carrying young Africans to disintegrate and sink upon arrival," he said.
Earlier this month, two heavily loaded boats were wrecked in the same week, resulting in the deaths of up to 700 migrants. The ships were carrying Syrians, Palestinians, Egyptians, Sudanese and other African nationals.
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(Photo: Frank Franklin II/AP Photo)