Authorities identifying Gambians among 58 killed migrants off Mauritania coast

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Kerr Fatou has learned that the national security council has convened a meeting over the accident this morning. There are unconfirm reports that some dead migrants whose remains started to decompose were buried.

In this file photo taken on October 11, 2017, African migrants arrive at a naval base in the Libyan capital Tripoli, after they were rescued from a rubber boat by coastguards off the Libyan coast of Sabratha. (AFP Archive)

Gambian authorities have initiated efforts to identify nationals of the country who were involved in the boat accident off the coast of Mauritania that killed 58 migrants.

It is unclear how many of the 58 migrants are Gambians. However, Kerr Fatou has learned there were 6 Senegalese and 3 women among the dead.

Meanwhile, The Gambia’s ambassador to Mauritania Mawdo Juwara, is currently in Nouadhibou to identify Gambians who might be involved in the boat accident.

“Our Ambassador and his team are on the ground with a view to ascertaining the number of migrants who may have been involved in the accident,” Saikou Ceesay, the Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry told Kerr Fatou.

“This is a very serious matter because it involves deaths, therefore, the Ministry cannot afford to give conflicting information. We will update the press as soon as we get accurate data that confirms the identity of our nationals among others.”

The accident happened on Wednesday. Survivors of the boat accident, with women and children on board, had reportedly left Gambia on Nov. 27.

According to media reports, about 83 people swam to shore, a larger number of whom are currently hospitalized.

The boat carrying at least 150 people had been low on fuel while approaching Mauritania, the UN agency said in a statement. It said survivors were being helped by Mauritanian authorities in the northern city of Nouadhibou.

Despite Gambia’s small size, more than 35,000 Gambian migrants arrived in Europe between 2014 and 2018, according to the UN migration agency.

2019-12-05T12:02:25+00:00

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