The Democratic Republic of Congo is in national mourning after a boat capsized on Lake Kivu killing 13 people and leaving 114 people still missing days after, the presidency said on Thursday.
“The president of the Republic has declared Friday to be a day of national mourning”, President Felix Tshisekedi said in a statement. “We are going to do everything to make sure that this type of tragedy doesn’t happen again. It’s because of certain economic operators who use rundown boats because of their greed.” Tshisekedi said.
Lake Kivu is in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Many boat accidents are common in the country due to overloading and poor regulation by marine transport authorities.
On his first tour of eastern Congo since taking office in January, Tshisekedi told reporters near the site of the accident in South Kivu province that 37 passengers had been rescued and local fishermen were still searching for the missing.
“We understand the boat was in a deplorable state,” Jacqueline Ngengele, a local transport official told Reuters.
The boat, a smaller type known as a pirogue, had set out from neighbouring North Kivu province on Monday and capsized on the lake near South Kivu’s Kalehe territory.