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Published On: Mon, Feb 5th, 2024

Over 1,000 Migrants Reached Spain’s Canary Islands in 3 days

Spain’s marine rescue service said on Monday that More than 1,000 migrants from sub-Saharan countries arrived in its Canary Islands as more attempt deadly crossing in 18 boats over the past three days, in which A body was found in one of the boats.

The archipelago off northwest Africa has seen a surge in migrant arrivals in recent weeks as more people from West Africa attempt the dangerous journey. Officials say 7,270 migrants arrived in January, about as many as in the first six months of 2023.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will visit the West African country on Thursday to encourage authorities to try to curtail the departures. Most of the boats depart from Mauritania.

Spain and the European Union have cooperation agreements with both Mauritania and neighboring Senegal to try to reduce the number of migrants arriving on the islands. But some young people insist on taking their chances and say there are few opportunities and sometimes political turmoil at home.

Spain’s interior ministry says a record 55,618 migrants arrived by boat — most of them in the Canary Islands — last year, almost double the number of the previous year.

Migrants are given blankets and other items after arriving on a small boat at La Restinga port on the canary island of El Hierro on Sunday Feb. 4, 2024. Spain’s marine rescue service says nearly 1,000 migrants from sub-Saharan countries arrived in Spain’s Canary Islands in 18 boats in the past three days. The agency says one body was found aboard one of the boats intercepted Monday. (Europa Press via AP).

The Spanish non-profit organization Cami Nando Fronteras (Walking Borders) says more than 6,600 migrants died while trying to reach Spain by boat last year, most of them on the Atlantic route. The figure is more than double the number reported by the organization for 2022.

Cami Nando Fronteras says it compiles its own figures from families of migrants and rescue statistics.

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