The first batch of Gambians survivors of Wednesday’s migrants shipwreck off the coast of Mauritanian are being repatriated back to the Gambia.

A photo of the group in a bus was widely circulated on social media last night. The survivors still looked shocked and sombre by their traumatic experience.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said on Friday that it has been helping migrants recover from shock by providing appropriate medical treatment.

“A member of IOM’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team in The Gambia departed for Mauritania on Friday to support the local response,” the agency said in a statement.

The government had also said on Friday that it will repatriate the Gambian survivors once they have been given the all clear by health officials in Mauritania.

“Once the identification is completed, the Gambian Embassy, the Honourary Consulate, Mauritanian Regional Administrative authorities in Nouadhibou, the IOM as well as the UNHCR will continue further medical checkups of the survivors to ascertain their fitness to be repatriated to The Gambia and Senegal,” the government said in a press statement on Friday.

The boat tragedy is the worst single disaster for Gambian migrants and has affected towns in the North Bank Region of the country where most of the victims came from

A total of 85 survivors have been accounted for, including 7 Senegalese, while the death toll has risen to 63.

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