Gloucestershire

Mediterranean migrant deaths: 'Traffickers must be held to account'

Baboucar Ceesay from the Gambia Image copyright other
Image caption Baboucarr Ceesay from Gambia was among 800 people who drowned in the Mediterranean on Sunday

The aunt of a man who is among 800 feared dead after a migrant boat capsized has said human traffickers "must be held to account".

Baboucarr Ceesay, from Gambia, is believed to have drowned when the fishing boat he boarded at Libya sank in the Mediterranean on Sunday.

Jessica Sey from Cheltenham said her 21-year-old nephew's family "will never get justice" and more must be done to educate migrants of the risks.

"We are so angry," she said.

"The people who take their money and put them on to these boats have got to be held to account.

"It's not just a foreign problem, it's actually on our doorstep."

Sahara crossing

Mrs Sey said her nephew's decision to travel to the UK from his home was "a desperate way out".

"He did it illegally and it killed him."

Image caption Jessica Sey said her nephew's decision to travel to the UK was "a desperate way out"

She said her nephew was a "promising" football player who was relatively well off in his own country, but he longed for a better life in Europe.

Mr Sey left Gambia with a friend by taking a boat from the capital Banjul to Guinea.

The pair then crossed the Sahara to Libya.

However the friend stayed in Libya when Mr Sey boarded the fishing boat which subsequently capsized on Sunday.

Mrs Sey blamed the "division of money in this world", and said it is "human nature to want to better yourself".

"Can anyone honestly say that they wouldn't put themselves through something like this if they thought they would get something better at the end?"

Prosecutors in Italy, where survivors of the capsize have arrived, say the captain crashed the boat by mistake against a merchant rescue ship.

The capsize is the deadliest recorded in the Mediterranean, the United Nations says.

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