The Gambia government has given an update on the tragic migrant boat accident off the coast of Mauritania on Wednesday. 

In a press statement on Friday the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad said 195 people were on board the boat and 63 people have now been confirmed dead. 

“There were 13 women and 11 of them died. Investigators are employing different identification techniques such as photos taking of corpses before the burial and using survivors to identify the dead through those photos. 

“This method will help establish the nationalities especially the number of Gambians involved.  The memo also highlighted that 85 people have been rescued and 10 of them are receiving medical care. From the 85 rescued, 78 are Gambians and 7 Senegalese nationals. However, 47 people are still missing.”

The government said it will repatriate the 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 press statement said.

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