Cabinet Notes blank lost West Africans but say survivors will be resettled as legal residents

The Gaston Browne Administration continues to distance itself from the boat tragedy in which 17 migrants died or were lost at sea, as evidenced by the Cabinet Notes disseminated today, Friday, April 14 – even as it is making moves to integrate the survivors.

In the document, Government’s chief of staff, Lionel Hurst, reports that a discussion was held “about the West Africans who have been present in Antigua since late December 2022.”

The statement goes on to explain that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) have concluded their initial report on the developments surrounding the “visitors.”

According to the communique, the report will “be examined by the national agencies that are playing a role in the resettling exercise” — through which the West Africans who survived the March 28 tragedy will be made legal residents of this country.

In the Administration’s continued efforts to absolve itself of any complicity, the Notes go on to state that a report was made of a “fishing boat  which unlawfully departed Antigua with 32 passengers.”

However, nowhere in the Notes does the Administration mention a local investigation or express any sort of empathy for the lives lost in the unfortunate turn of events.

Not surprisingly, no mention was made of the Black March and Candlelight Vigil, held on Thursday, April 13, either.