More than 20 missing after boat capsizes on Congo's Lake Kivu

by Reuters
Monday, 30 November 2015 10:56 GMT

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KINSHASA, Nov 30 (Reuters) - More than 20 people are missing after a government-operated speed boat capsized on Lake Kivu in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Monday, the provincial governor said.

"The boat capsized with about 44 people. We don't have the exact numbers ... About 20 have been rescued from the water," North Kivu governor Julien Paluku told Reuters.

Paluku said the boat left from Goma at the northern tip of Lake Kivu at about 7:30 a.m. for Bukavu at its southern edge. It was not immediately clear what caused the capsize.

Maritime travel on the country's eastern lakes and the Congo River is central to commerce and transport in a country with few paved roads but accidents are common due to lax safety standards.

Dozens of people went missing in February after two boats collided on the Congo River in western Congo, causing an overcrowded passenger vessel to sink.

Eastern Congo has seen periods of intense conflict over two decades, resulting in millions of deaths from war, hunger and disease. (Reporting by Aaron Ross; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and Alison Williams)

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