Antigua and Barbuda to Investigate Migrant Boat Tragedy

Source : (Prensa Latina)

Saint John, Mar 30 (Prensa Latina) Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, affirmed that his administration will launch a full investigation into the migrant boat accident the day before, which caused at least three deaths.

The head of Government expressed in a statement “deep regret for the loss of life and anguish suffered by the people on board the boat” that left this country in the early hours of Tuesday morning with 32 people on board, including two residents.

These twin islands will not turn their backs on the more than 600 West African migrants who remained in the nation after being taken to the Caribbean as tourists between November 2022 and January 2023, the authority remarked.

At the end of last December, charters promoted by Abuja-based FastFlyLinks Travel & Tours brought here travelers from the so-called black continent, including Cameroon, for US$5,000.

Some told the media that they were escaping from a distressing situation, in an area where the civil war has raged for the past six years.

Antigua Airways, a partnership between the Antiguan government and Nigerian investor Marvelous Mike, organized charter flights, while its efforts were imitated by another operator unknown to us, admitted Information Minister Melford Walter Nicholas. Air operators used us as a springboard to South America and therefore we had to suspend routes from Africa, the official said.

The coast guard troops involved in the multinational search and rescue operation for the injured yesterday ruled out providing details about the deceased but assured that they were emigrants from West Africa.

The 32 people left Urlings (Antigua) for the US Virgin Islands in a boat called the Jenna B, which capsized and sank about 12 miles south of Conaree (St. Kitts and Nevis).

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