By Ndey Sowe
A shipwreck occurred off the coast of Mauritania on Wednesday claiming the lives of at least 58 ‘backway’ migrants close to a town called Nouadhobou.
Miko Alazas, Communication Officer, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said passengers have reported that the ship carrying over 150 people left the Gambia last week Wednesday (27th November) and run out of fuel before capsizing.
The Communication Officer said: “We can confirm that there are 85 survivors (79 Gambians and 6 Senegalese) and at least 58 deaths, though at the moment we cannot confirm how many of those are Gambians.”
He added that their colleagues in IOM Mauritania are working very closely with Mauritanian authorities and Gambian consular services to provide immediate assistance.
“The Gambian Ambassador in Mauritania is expected to arrive in Nouadhibou”, he revealed, adding, “from our end in the Gambia, we are deploying a member of our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team to Nouadhiou soon, given our staff’s ability to speak the Gambian’s language”.
A press release from State House, Banjul stated that the news was received with sadness
The release indicated that The Gambia government is working with the United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM) and will dispatch a delegation to Mauritania at the earliest possible time to investigate and gather more information on the accident.
The release also revealed that President Barrow expressed heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prays for the departed souls to Rest in Peace.