Several hundred Gambian migrants return home after being rescued off the Mauritanian coast.
The boat they were travelling on capsized and drowned nearly 60 of them, according to the Gambian presidency. President Adama Barrow described the deaths as a “national tragedy” in a televised address last weekend.
He also stressed that a police investigation was underway to identify the perpetrators whiles a multi-pronged team was working to support families of the victims. One of the migrants lucky to return home is Hassan Ndour who told the story of how the incident occurred.
“We ran out of food and fuel, and we didn’t know where to go. So we wanted to moor our boat but the waves hit the boat while we were trying to anchor it. Then the boat tilted.”
His mother, Seynabou Diouf, regrets his departure but is happy for the safe return of her son. “Our village has experienced a real tragedy, I will no longer allow him anyone to take part in this kind of adventure.
“His father was crying until he came back today, I was really afraid something would happen to him.” Hassan Ndour’s family encouraged this move to Europe to improve their living conditions.
Last Wednesday’s accident is the deadliest on the coastline this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. Despite the incident, just last Friday, the Mauritanian coast guard intercepted another 192 Gambians en route to Spain.