By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
Victims of the La – Joola boat, which sank off the coast of The Gambia on 26th September 2002, were remembered by relatives and friends from both Senegal and the Gambia at a ceremony held to mark this fateful day at the cemetery at Basori, where their remains are interred.The boat accident, which claimed the lives of many people who were travelling from the Senegalese Southern port of Ziguinchor to the capital city of Dakar, marked a very dark episode in the history of Senegal. It was only 160 bodies that were recovered from the sunken ferry boat that were buried at a cemetery on Gambian soil.
In remembering the day, Modou Mbengue, the President of the Senegalese Community in West Coast Region, and his delegation offered prayers at the cemetery for all those who perished in that disaster of international proportion.
β€˜β€™The community of Basori, relatives, the Governments of both the Gambia and Senegal have all been playing their part in the commemoration of these fallen compatriots,” he said.
Mr. Mbengue said they want to erect a permanent fence around the perimeter of the cemetery and would need the support of everyone to enable the accomplishment of this project. He said they want to make the place a memorable and solemn landmark.
For his part, Mr. Gorreh Jah, the vice president of the association, thanked the government and people of the Gambia for providing the piece of land where the remains of the victims of the Le-Joola boat disaster are buried.
Idrissa Njie and Yorro Sowe, both executive members, also spoke on the occasion, describing the day as somber and memorable.
Alhagie Yusupha Darboe and Alhagie Muniru Darboe of Basori spoke at the event and offered prayer for the departed souls.