Tens of thousands protesting in Mauritius against ship disaster response

Tens of thousands of people are demonstrating against the government. The demonstrators feel that too little is being done against the consequences of the disaster with a cargo ship off the coast. They demand an investigation.

Demonstrants walk through the capital Port Louis and hold up signs saying “You are shameless”. Some speakers call for the departure of high-ranking officials. There were also protests at diplomatic representations of Mauritius in London, Paris and Perth.

1000 litres of oil

A Japanese freighter ran aground at the end of last month on a reef off the east coast of Mauritius and began leaking oil two weeks later. According to the authorities, the ship carried some 4,000 tonnes of fuel oil. At least 1,000 tonnes leaked into the sea, despite international aid and the efforts of thousands of volunteers. The ship broke in two two weeks ago. By that time it had already been virtually emptied.

Over the past few days, dozens of dolphins have died. According to the government this is a “sad coincidence” and during autopsy of two dolphins no fuel oil was found. A local environmental group wants a second opinion from independent experts.

Over two weeks another protest is planned on the island in the Indian Ocean. Then a protest march will be held in Mahebourg, one of the hardest hit coastal towns.