Author: Alexis

Ethiopians killed in police custody in Malawi — and more bodies found near mass grave

Ethiopians killed in police custody in Malawi — and more bodies found near mass grave

Malawi police find more bodies near mass grave that contained 25 Ethiopians

The burial place of 25 Ethiopians on March 11 last was found in a mass grave containing two people. Photo: Dabanga Chimoana / AP

In an apparent attempt at deporting Ethiopian migrants who died in police custody, Malawi’s authorities have discovered an additional nine bodies close to one of the country’s largest mass graves, raising the death toll from the crackdown to at least 25.

While the burial sites of the dead remain undisturbed, the discovery of the new remains suggests the authorities are preparing for a final push, police said on Tuesday.

“We found another body in a mass grave and there are still more to be found,” Malawian police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thando Mwepu told Reuters.

Malawian police say they discovered a mass grave near the village of Malamulo, some eight kilometres (five miles) from the main town of Lilongwe, on March 11, where 25 Ethiopians died in police detention last week. Police said they recovered the remains of 26 Ethiopians and five Malawians.

Malawi’s police commissioner, Major General Felix Badei, told The Associated Press on Monday that the remaining nine bodies found on Tuesday near the mass grave had not yet been identified but that all but one were thought to be the same. He did not provide any explanation for the discrepancy, but said it may have been an administrative error.

Badei said the mass grave was likely created in the 1990s as part of a government program to clear the country of people from the diaspora, many of whom were killed in political violence during the decades-old war in neighboring Ethiopia between the government and rebels.

Ethiopia’s government has said the Ethiopians died because of poor treatment but has not blamed the Malawians.

Badei said police are preparing an official report on the incident and would be handing over the results to the United Nations, which has called for an

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