The Joola disaster had multiple causes. The ship, managed by the Senegalese navy, was in bad condition. It was overloaded, with four times more passengers than the maximum allowed.
The vehicles in the hold were not secured. The captain of the ferry, who himself died, no doubt made a navigation error. Families of the victims have long tried to find out the truth about what happened.
Some filed a complaint against the Senegalese government for "negligence", but the case was closed in 2003. Legal proceedings also began here in France, where several of the victims hailed from, but they did not succeed.
Twenty years on, victims' families continue their fight to ensure that the Joola disaster is not forgotten. In particular, they want the wreck of the ship to be hauled up from the seabed in order to be able to start grieving properly. Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning Take international news everywhere with you!Read more on france24.com