Families of migrants whose boat capsized off the coast of Mauritania, killing at least 58 migrants, have call for the arrest and prosecution of alleged captain of the boat, as they said he is back in Barra living with impunity.

In 2019 a boat carrying at least 62 migrants, many of whom were Gambians, and was heading to Spain sank off the coast of Mauritania. 

Ousman Bahoum, a man alleged to have captained the boat is reported to have returned to Barra which has sparked outrage from victims families and returnees of the boat tragedy. 

Some of the victims that lost their lives

Speaking to Gambiana in an exclusive interview, Sering Bahoum, said: “We want Ousman Bahoum to be arrested or the Barra youth will take the law into their own way (hands).

“We need justice, the victims’ families and returnees demand is the law to take its course as to the fact that the suspect Ousman Bahoum is back in the street of Barra freely.

“And since he returned, the people of Barra and us the returnees and the families of the victims have not seen any justice done, and what pained us most is all these two days he was organisation a programme at his own place in Barra,” he added.

victims families in Barra

According to UN Agency for Migration [IOM], the boat ran out of fuel and was stranded for days when approaching Mauritania before it capsized. 

The tragedy has been described as one of the deadliest incidents since the mid-2000s when Spain stepped up patrols and fewer boats attempted the journey.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba 

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