Stranded migrants in a Spanish patrol boat returns to Senegal

stranded migrants in a spanish patrol boat returns to senegal

stranded migrants in a spanish patrol boat returns to senegal

A group of 168 migrants are set to return to Senegal after being stranded for more than four days in a Spanish patrol boat off the coast of Mauritania.

The migrants were rescued on the way to Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa. However, Spain and Mauritania refused to accept them.

The Civil Guard union, AUGC, confirmed that the migrants will be sent to Senegal. Mauritania reportedly refused to allow landing of the boat.

Stranded migrants rescued

Stranded migrants were rescued at sea about 150 kilometers off the coast of Mauritania on 24 August. They were taken to a Spanish Civil Guard vessel. However, Mauritania did not allow the boat to bring the rescued migrants inside the country.

After a negotiation between Mauritania and Spain, it was announced that the migrants would return to Senegal, where the majority of people came from. The standoff over the Spanish boat was finally resolved on Monday. 

It is not yet known how the migrants will go to Senegal. 

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Situation of migrants

The migrants reportedly went on a hunger strike after being stranded on the boat. They protested against the conditions. According to media reports, the authorities on board the Spanish boat had fired shots into the air to discourage migrants from fighting. Later on, they were rescued by the authorities.

Migrants leaving Senegal

In recent months, a number of migrants departed from Senegal. In July, a group of migrants set off from Senegal for the Canary Islands. However, they ended up near the Cape Verde islands. The migrants suffered there for a month. It also led to the death of 60 people. In another incident, 16 migrants died when their boat sank off Dakar, the capital and largest city of Senegal. Later on, another boat capsized near Saint-Louis that killed 14 people. 

In recent years, migrants have been leaving Senegal, particularly from in and around the Senegal River Valley. Senegal also witnessed a recent surge in migrant related deaths. 

In July, Senegal also announced a 10-year plan to tackle illegal migration across the country in the wake of recent deaths. Interior Minister Antoine Felix Abdoulaye Diome announced the launch of the new National Strategy to Combat Irregular Migration (SNLMI), with five main focus: prevention, border management, repression measures, measures to support, and protection of migrants. 

Macky Sall, the President of Senegal, also urged the authorities “to combat clandestine emigration.”

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