Boat Carrying 58, Including Madagascar Migrants Capsizes In Indian Ocean

Written By BlabberBuzz | Thursday, 16 March 2023 16:30
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Madagascar officials have recovered 34 bodies from the Indian Ocean after a boat carrying migrants sank off the country's northwest coast.

The vessel was carrying 58 passengers hoping to reach Mayotte but had sailed clandestinely without going through official immigration or customs controls.

Customs and Navy patrol boats recovered the bodies near the island of Nosy Faly, according to Director General of the Port, Maritime, and Fluvial Agency Jean Edmond Randrianantenaina. Preliminary investigations revealed that the victims mainly hailed from Ambilobe, Tamatave, Majunga, and Nosy Be.

Randrianantenaina expressed anger and sadness at the tragedy, saying that the "entire state apparatus is angry at this tragedy. Also, we are implementing all possible means to speed up the investigations." Local fishermen rescued 24 survivors on the night of the sinking, but all but one fled before the arrival of the authorities.


Officials are now searching for two people, a man and a woman, who is suspected of being smugglers or accomplices in the illegal transportation of migrants. They are wanted for "illegal boarding and clandestine transport, involuntary homicide of passengers to Mayotte," according to Randrianantenaina.

Roger Charles Evina, the representative of the International Organization for Migration for Madagascar and Comoros, said that Mayotte is a frequent destination for migrants from Madagascar due to its status as a French territory. The IOM has been working on a program for several months to combat this illegal immigration, offering income-generating activities to potential migrants to stabilize them in their communities of origin.

Evina stated that economic reasons are the primary motivator for migration and that the IOM's program aims to address this issue. He also lamented the lack of official national statistics on such tragedies at sea, calling this latest incident "yet another shipwreck."