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“The Malagasy flag is at half mast across the country on Thursday,” sighs Madagascar Tribune. The President of the Republic, Andry Rajoelina, declared a national mourning in memory of the victims of the sinking, Monday, of the boat Francia in Soanierana Ivongo. “
The latest death toll from this shipwreck shows 85 dead and around 50 survivors. There would still be missing.
“This freight boat had more than 130 people on board,” explains Madagascar Tribune. It had exceeded its capacity and the passengers had not been registered with the Maritime and River Port Agency, departing from the rural commune of Antanambe, in Mananara North, to go to Soanierana Ivongo. The boat was therefore operating clandestinely. “
According to Les Nouvelles, another Malagasy daily, “the captain and his crew are still missing, they are neither among the survivors nor among the bodies recovered”.
To this tragedy, another has been added, reports Madagascar Tribune: “A government team was dispatched to the site to coordinate the relief operations. On the way back, one of the helicopters carrying the Secretary General of the Gendarmerie, General Serge Gellé, and three other people, fell victim to strong gusts of wind and crashed into the sea. “
And, unbelievably, Madagascar Tribune points out: “General Gellé could be found in Mahambo, alive, after swimming for more than ten hours. He was taken in by sinners. Hours later, the crew’s mechanic was also found alive. The other two people in the helicopter, including the pilot, are still missing. “
The current investigation will determine the causes and responsibilities of the sinking of the Francia, but already, points out Le Pays in Burkina, “when a ship authorized to transport only goods, as was the case of the Francia, allows himself, illegally, to embark people and undoubtedly, to exceed his capacities, there is certainly a problem. Namely: “Human irresponsibility against a background of greed for money. […] The result is there: terrifying! exclaims Le Pays. By wanting to take the perilous paths of the underground, one pushed the Francia to be stranded on the shores of the tragedy. This is unacceptable ! It is therefore urgent that the Malagasy authorities put a stop to these unhealthy and deadly practices […]. “
Also on the front page: the return to the country for Dadis Camara. After 12 years of exile in Ouagadougou, the former head of the military junta, which seized power after the death of President Lansana Conté in December 2008, arrived in Conakry on Wednesday, December 22. “As soon as he got off the plane, Dadis said he was available to justice to shed light on the events of September 28,” reports the Guinea 7 news site.
So why this return, wonders WakatSéra: “Solidarity between brothers in arms obliges? Strong signal for national reconciliation? Or again, wanting to give the victims of the September 28, 2009 massacre and their parents a chance to finally know the whole truth about this tragedy which left 157 dead? Or, really, a humanitarian gesture, as officially announced by the Guinean authorities? […] If obviously, the part of the truth of the putschist captain is eagerly awaited, the fact remains, estimates WakatSéra, that there is room for doubt about his real revelations or denunciation of his former soldiers accused of this massive killing . Because, as the African saying goes, “dog does not eat dog”. “
For L’Observateur Paalga, still in Burkina Faso, “the prestigious exile has good reason to be worried, because it could be a (judicial) trap which is closing in on him, unless… unless, for the imperative of national reconciliation and appeasement underlying this comeback, the problem is not solved politically and the victims of September 28 are sacrificed on the altar of national harmony. “
► See also: Guinea: back in Conakry, Dadis Camara says he is ready to respond to justice