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I have a ship with many important people on board.

On the deck I see a little over 50 people. A few of them are kings.

Many of the passengers are black, including two of the kings.

There is a John, a Joseph and a Julius on board, but no Jack.

Who are the people on board my ship?

Hint:

No corpses on board, all are living people.

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The people on board are ...

... the heads of state of the members of the African Union.

In particular:

The African Union has 55 members. Three are monarchies: Morocco, Lesotho and Swaziland (or eSwatini, as it is called now). King Mswati III of Swaziland and King Letsie III of Lesotho are black. The three J's are John Magufuli, President of Tanzania; Joseph Kabila, President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone. None of the African heads of state is called Jack.

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  • $\begingroup$ Yup, this is it. Nice work. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Oct 30 '18 at 9:02
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It's fairly clear that:

The 'people' on board are playing cards. A pack of cards contains four kings, two red, two black.

I believe that John, Joseph and Julius are:

Popes. Pope John, Pope Joseph, Pope Julius.

Because:

There are a number of very old card games involving popes. One called "Pope Joan" is played on a board. Another is called "Pope Julius" but apparently very little is known about the rules. There are Jacks in a pack of cards but there was never a "Pope Jack". The pope is considered an "important person" as in the title of your puzzle.

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They are:

A pack of cards

Except:

Without one Jack, who I guess is you?

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  • $\begingroup$ Who are the John, Joseph and Julius? $\endgroup$
    – hexomino
    Oct 29 '18 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ @hexomino the other "jack"s $\endgroup$
    – AHKieran
    Oct 29 '18 at 11:17

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