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The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo has confirmed that more than 80 people have died after the boat they were traveling on sank.

President Felix Tshisekedi announced the incident on Wednesday on the Kwa River, roughly 43 miles from Mushie in Mai-Ndombe province. The governor of Mai-Ndombe province, Rita Bola Dula, attributed the incident to “night sailing,” a common but dangerous practice. She also mentioned that investigations are ongoing to gather more details about the tragedy. A local interviewed on the ground said the boat was being used for fishing.

According to Tshisekedi office, “The President of the Republic is calling for an investigation into the true causes of this unfortunate incident, to prevent such a disaster from happening again in the future.” He also sent “his condolences to the families and loved ones of the victims.”

Boat accidents in the DRC are not uncommon due to the frequent overloading of vessels. The country’s limited infrastructure means river travel is a primary mode of transportation.


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