Mauritius oil spill: Thousands march in Port Louis
Thousands of people have marched through the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, in protest at the authorities’ handling of a massive oil spill, and the discovery of 39 dead dolphins.
Many wore black and waved the national flag, while honking horns and drumming.
Many called for the government to resign and had T-shirts with the inscription: “I love my country. I’m ashamed of my government.”
It is the biggest protest the country has seen in recent years.
About 1,000 tonnes of oil spilled into a sanctuary for rare wildlife after the Japanese ship MV Wakashio struck a coral reef on 25 July.Many Mauritians believe the government could have done more to prevent the spill. There is also criticism over the decision to deliberately sink part of the ship after it split in two.
At Saturday’s protest, one woman said: “I am present today because we want the truth.
“They didn’t do anything when the ship approached our coastline – 12 days they didn’t do anything until the oil spill and now thousands of people and marine people are affected.”
Mauritians in the diaspora also held demonstrations in cities including London, Paris and Perth.
The government has promised to set up a commission to investigate the spill.
The captain of the ship has been arrested and charged with endangering safe navigation. He has not yet commented.