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News > Democratic Republic of Congo

DR Congo: At Least 60 People Died After Overloaded Boat Sank

  • Remains of a wrecked barge in the Congo River, February 15, 2021.

    Remains of a wrecked barge in the Congo River, February 15, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @CdDepeche

Published 15 February 2021

In this African country, shipwrecks are frequent because the boats sail with an excess of passengers and without any infrastructural improvement.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo's Humanitarian Action Minister Steve Mbikayi on Monday informed that 60 people died after a boat sank in the Congo River on Sunday night.


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"The boat was sailing at night with an excess of passengers, which is forbidden by authorities," Mbikayi explained as he urged punishing those responsible for the accident and demanded justice for the victims. 

The Congolese government "will demand sanctions and bring those responsible to justice to answer for their actions," Mbikayi added.

Following the accident, authorities reported that 300 people survived the sinking of the boat, which was carrying over 700 citizens from the capital Kinshasa to Equateur Province.

The ship sank in the locality of Longola Ekoti, in Mai Ndombe Province, according to Kinshasa's local government. 

In Congo, rivers are used daily as a transportation route. Shipwrecks are frequent due to the precarious boats, which often travel heavily loaded.

On January 7, twenty people went missing after a boat sank on Lake Kivu, in the country's eastern region. Since then, citizens have demanded the government to regulate the navigation law, as many passengers travel without life jackets in boats that require infrastructural improvement.


Steve Mbikayi
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