Body of missing migrant washed up on British shore

Written by Staff Writer (CNN) — The death of 52-year-old Nigel Danso became a humanitarian problem. Across Europe, Spain and the UK, hundreds of migrants and refugees have died — including women and children…

Body of missing migrant washed up on British shore

Written by Staff Writer

(CNN) — The death of 52-year-old Nigel Danso became a humanitarian problem.

Across Europe, Spain and the UK, hundreds of migrants and refugees have died — including women and children — when attempts to reach the UK by boat have been thwarted by the UK’s in-built “Migrant Offshore Aid Station” (MOAS) offshore patrol vessels.

On December 10, 2018, Moas successfully intercepted a migrant vessel that crossed the Northern Sea border between Spain and Morocco. On arrival, MOAS helped the 58 people on board secure medical attention and removed them from the boat.

But the welcome they received was not universal.

The Irish government, which is a member of the European Union, said the UK did not share the responsibility for the incident, following the sinking of one of its ships.

12 long months to the day

Danso’s family has faced more than 12 months of anguish as they waited for answers from the authorities.

The migrants who died when the boat broke up off the Coast of Lekki in Lagos were Nigerian and Ghanaian nationals and also included young children.

“We have really had no answers for the last 12 months; we can’t even begin to tell you the pain we feel every day, because we still don’t know how Nigel died. The information we’ve got so far is vague,” said his mother, Addison Danso.

“I remember Nigel said to me that on the day he died he said to me, ‘If I don’t come back, you will be ready, mum.’ All his brothers and sisters have that same commitment.”

The Jamaican national was boarding a passenger ship in Lagos, Nigeria, when he went missing.

CNN reached out to all the parties involved. Nigeria Navy said they still “are in active investigations with Nigerian authorities to establish the cause of the accident.”

The British High Commission said they are still seeking access to safety and security information and will provide further updates when they are available.

They added the UK is in touch with the families of both migrants who were reported missing and the individuals who were rescued by MOAS.

And Moas would not comment when asked whether Danso had drowned, or when contacted again in October 2018.

‘Migrant deaths don’t help our efforts’

The Moas are part of the EU’s sea and air patrols off the Southern Mediterranean — a success story whose image has been affected by news of deadly accidents, but in which the UK operates, even when in humanitarian crisis areas.

In September 2018 the UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) appealed to the UK public for support after seeing the number of migrant shipwrecks increasing.

They said they needed “the understanding and support of the UK public” to have “the ability to deploy and operate at sea.”

However, the lives of families trying to find closure over the deaths of loved ones remain a significant obstacle.

“After 12 months of no answers, I don’t know if that will ever change,” said Danso’s mother.

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