Thousands of Mauritian residents protested in the streets of Mahebourg on Saturday, September 12, against the government's handling of a recent oil spill off the island nation's coastline. Mahebourg is one of the coastal villages most affected by the spill and protesters have called for top officials to step down. Previous protests in the capital Port Louis in August were attended by tens of thousands of people, an estimated ten percent of the country's population. The Japanese operator of the vessel responsible for the spill has pledged to help finance the Mauritius Natural Environment Recovery Fund, which will be responsible for assisting with environmental clean-up efforts and affected residents.
A heightened security presence and localized disruption to transport are expected in the vicinity of the demonstrations.
A Japanese vessel ran aground on a coral reef just offshore of the Pointe d'Esny area on July 25 and leaked around 1000 tons of oil into the ocean in around ten days before splitting in two. As a result of the spill, dozens of dead dolphins have washed up on the Mauritius shoreline, enraging local residents.
Individuals in Mauritius are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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