On July 5, 2024, an incident happened off the coast of Mauritania resulted in the dead of at least 89 lives. The boat was carrying 170 people which capsized approximately 4 km from the southwestern coastal city of Ndiago.

Boat Capsizes Off Mauritania, At Least 89 Migrants Dead

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The boat capsized on Monday, July 1, 2024 around 4 km from the coast of Ndiago, Mauritania.

Mauritanian coastguard recovered 89 bodies and nine survivors including a five-year-old girl were rescued. The capsizing was because of the strong winds and high waves on the dangerous Atlantic route.

At least 89 bodies have been recovered by the Mauritanian coast guard. Nine people including a five-year-old girl were rescued. Based on survivor 72 individuals remain unaccounted for.

The vessel set sail from the border region between Senegal and Gambia with 170 passengers on board. This area is a common departure point for migrants seeking to reach Europe.

The Atlantic route has become increasingly favored by migrants due to high security in the Mediterranean.

This route is with dangers including strong currents and a lack of rescue operations. Overloaded and unseaworthy boats along with insufficient drinking water.

In 2023 the number of migrants landing in Spain’s Canary Islands more than doubled compared to the previous year reaching a record 39,910 arrivals.

Migrant boats typically set off from Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania, Gambia and Senegal. Despite the proximity of the Canary Islands to North Africa many vessels begin their journey from much farther away.

According to Caminando Fronteras, a Spanish charity over 5,000 migrants died while attempting to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of 2024.

This equates to 33 deaths per day, the highest rate since records began in 2007 with most fatalities occurring on the Atlantic route.

The European Union provided Mauritania with €210 million in aid in April 2024. Of this, nearly €60 million was specifically allocated to address issues related to undocumented migration.

The Atlantic route is a dangerous path used by migrants attempting to reach Europe particularly Spain’s Canary Islands.

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Migrants face high risks due to rough seas, strong currents and often travel in unseaworthy vessels without sufficient provisions even drinking water.

There has been a huge increase in the number of migrants using this route. Over 5,000 people died attempting to reach Spain by sea in the first five months of 2024.

Conflict, poverty and instability in regions like Mali, Burkina Faso and Sudan drive people to go on dangerous journeys in search of better opportunities.

Many migrants also take hazardous land routes through the Sahara, which are often more deadly than sea routes.

The high death toll at sea underlines the extreme dangers faced by migrants. According to a UN-backed report, deaths on land routes through the Sahara are presumed to be double those at sea with numerous incidents of violence, exploitation and human trafficking.

The report also revealed shocking cases of organ trafficking with many migrants subjected to organ removal, often without their consent.

The Spanish Canary Islands have seen an increase in migrant arrivals, with nearly 40,000 people arriving last year double the previous year’s figure.

In January alone, 7,270 migrants landed on the islands nearly matching the total for the first six months of the previous year.

In February, the EU announced €210 million in aid to help Mauritania combat human smuggling and manage migration flows.

The UN report highlighted an increase in migration across Africa towards the Mediterranean which is driven by conflict and poverty.

Migrants face extreme dangers including kidnappings and violence especially in countries like Algeria, Libya and Ethiopia, identified as some of the most dangerous transit points.

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