At least 47 dead after boat capsizes on Lake Malawi


A man rows his boat in Liwonde National Park October 5, 2007 in Liwonde, Malawi.


Mark Mainz

At least 47 African migrants have drowned after their boat capsized on Lake Malawi.

Malawi police spokesman Davie Chingwalu told the Agence France Presse that the boat is believed to have capsized late Monday, but that police only became aware of the accident on Tuesday after locals “saw dead bodies floating on the lake and a boat floating upside down.”

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The boat, which arrived from Tanzania, was believed to be carrying migrants from either Somalia or Ethiopia. Chingwalu told the news agency police believe it capsized due to overloading.

According to The Maravi Post, there may have been as many as 60 people on board. No survivors have been found. Police told Malawi’s Daily Times newspaper that three Malawians have been arrested on suspicion of arranging the journey in collaboration with several Tanzanians.

According to the BBC, Malawi has become a key transit post for migrants fleeing fighting and drought in the Horn of Africa and trying to reach South Africa. 

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