NewsWorldSenegal: the forgotten sinking of the "Joola", an impossible...

Senegal: the forgotten sinking of the “Joola”, an impossible mourning


Published on: 09/23/2022 – 14:34 The toll of this terrible shipwreck is much heavier than that of the “Titanic”. On September 26, 2002, the “Joola” disaster claimed at least 1,800 lives. The ferry provided the connection between the Senegalese province of Casamance and Dakar. In the middle of the night, 40 kilometers from the coast, while tropical rains were falling and strong winds were raging, the boat turned around. Help will take more than sixteen hours to arrive on site and only 64 passengers will survive. The causes of the disaster are multiple: the “Joola”, managed by the Senegalese navy, was in poor condition. It was overloaded, with four times as many passengers as the maximum allowed. The vehicles in the hold were not tied down. The captain probably made a navigational error. The families of the victims have tried to get the whole truth, with some filing complaints against the Senegalese state for “negligence”. A file closed without follow-up in Senegal, from 2003. Twenty years later, Sarah Sakho looks back on this disaster. A procedure was also started in France, from which several victims originated, but it did not succeed, the French justice pronounced a dismissal in October 2018 in the case of “Joola”. Twenty years later, however, the families of the victims continue to fight so that the “Joola” disaster is not forgotten.



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