A ship carrying an estimated one-and-a-half thousand refugees from war-torn Angola has been refused permission by the South African Government to dock at the remote Atlantic Port of Walvis Bay, in South West Africa.
GV Ship from air anchored in bay of Walvis (3 shots)
MV Ship showing refugees on board (6 shots)
AERIAL Ship in bay (3 shots)
Initials BB/1855 DE/DK/BB/1905
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Background: A ship carrying an estimated one-and-a-half thousand refugees from war-torn Angola has been refused permission by the South African Government to dock at the remote Atlantic Port of Walvis Bay, in South West Africa.
The vessel is the Cypriot-registered Silver Sky which sailed from the Angolan port of Mocamedes last week, arriving off Walvis Bay on Wednesday (14 January).
The South African Government decided that only bona fide Portuguese citizens among the refugees would be allowed ashore....and only then on condition that they agreed to be flown to Portugal.
The Silver Sky is one of a flotilla of 24 freighters and small fishing boats which are crammed with refugees. About half of the people on board are black Angolans.
Conditions on board the boats are unhygienic and deteriorating rapidly according to official reports. Some cases of dysentery have been reported, and the South African authorities have said the seriously ill people could be landed by tender. They will also provision the ships with food, water and medicine to help them on their way.
It is uncertain now where the Silver Sky will travel to, but it is though Portugal may be the most likely destination.
Since the war erupted last November, South Africa has admitted more than ten thousand refugees. About fifteen hundred of them were allowed to stay, and the rest were sent to Portugal. There has been some criticism of the move to keep the latest batch out of the country.