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Macron Vows to Hold Smugglers Accountable After Death of At Least 27 Migrants in English Channel

© REUTERS / Gonzalo FuentesA group of more than 40 migrants react as they succeeded to get on an inflatable dinghy, to leave the coast of northern France and to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021.
A group of more than 40 migrants react as they succeeded to get on an inflatable dinghy, to leave the coast of northern France and to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
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British and French authorities began searching for survivors on Wednesday, after receiving word that a small vessel transporting dozens of people capsized while en route to Britain. Earlier that day, reporters for Reuters observed a group of more than 40 migrants board a dinghy bound for Britain.
French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have pledged to step up efforts to curb the recent influx of migrant crossings in the English Channel, according to comments issued by Johnson's spokesperson.
Their vow to increase efforts comes alongside confirmation from French authorities that 27 people died after their inflatable dinghy capsized off the coast of France.
French officials previously reported that 31 migrants had died in the capsizing.
© REUTERS / Gonzalo FuentesA group of more than 40 migrants with children get on an inflatable dinghy, as they leave the coast of northern France to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021
A group of more than 40 migrants with children get on an inflatable dinghy, as they leave the coast of northern France to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.11.2021
A group of more than 40 migrants with children get on an inflatable dinghy, as they leave the coast of northern France to cross the English Channel, near Wimereux, France, November 24, 2021
Although French authorities have made strides in the number of crossings they have prevented, overall efforts have been hobbled by Paris-London tensions.
A spokesperson for Johnson told reporters that the UK PM and his French counterpart have agreed to step up joint efforts to combat traffickers and prevent such deadly crossings in the English Channel.
"They underlined the importance of close working with neighbours in Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as partners across the continent if we are to tackle the problem effectively before people reach the French coast," the spokesperson told Reuters.
Meanwhile, Macron called for an "emergency meeting of European ministers concerned by the migration challenge" and proclaimed that the French will not allow the English Channel to become a "graveyard."

"Everything will be done to find and condemn those responsible" for the incident, Macron asserted.

French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has confirmed that four alleged traffickers have been arrested in connection with the deadly capsizing. Darmanin described the vessel as a "very frail" death-trap comparable to "a pool you blow up in your garden."
Two people were rescued from the capsizing, and have since been hospitalized with severe hypothermia, according to the French Interior Minister.
Migrants picked up at sea whilst Crossing the English Channel, but intercepted but intercepted bu UK Border Force officials, travel in a RIB with as they are brought into the Marina in Dover, southeast England on August 15, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.11.2021
Over 240 Migrants Rescued in Dover Strait Between France and UK, French Maritime Authority Says
L'Auberge des Migrants, an advocacy group that supports refugees and displaced people in Calais and Northern France, asserted to Reuters that increased surveillance of the English Channel has pushed migrants to take greater travel risks in order to reach their destination in the West.
"To accuse only the smugglers is to hide the responsibility of the French and British authorities," the non-governmental organization stated.
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