Skip to content

A Gruesome Discovery Puts the Spotlight on Human Trafficking in Malawi

Following the discovery of a mass grave in which 25 bodies were found, Malawi police have arrested 72 Ethiopian men who were found hiding in a forest reserve in the northern border town of Karonga. Ten Malawians have also been arrested on suspicion of being part of a syndicate involved in trafficking the Ethiopians. Malawi discovered a mass grave in the north of the country containing the remains of 25 people suspected to be migrants from Ethiopia. Police were alerted by villagers in the Mzimba area, about 250 kilometers north of the capital, Lilongwe, who stumbled onto the grave while collecting wild honey in a forest. “We suspect that they were illegal migrants who were being transported to South Africa via Malawi,” said a police spokesperson. He added that evidence gathered from the site indicated the victims were Ethiopian males ages 25 to 40 years. The decomposing bodies were exhumed and taken to a morgue for autopsies. The bodies appear to have been buried “probably not more than a month” ago, he said. Malawi is a popular route for illegal immigrants from East Africa being smuggled to South Africa, the continent’s most industrialized country and a magnet for poor migrants from elsewhere on the continent.