Mon, 30 Nov 2020

DAKAR, Oct. 30 (Xinhua) -- Senegalese President Macky Sall announced Friday a series of strict instructions to reinforce boat controls and coastal surveillance in order to tackle the recent increase in illegal immigration, the Senegalese presidency announced in a press release.

According to the presse release, Sall demanded concerned authorities identify and dismantle the networks that organize the illegal trafficking.

He expressed his "deep compassion and offers his condolences to the bereaved families" over the recent shipwrecks during illegal migrants' crossing to the Canary Islands.

He affirmed that as soon as the alert was given, the Senegalese Navy deployed necessary means to carry out rescue operations which allowed the rescue of some passengers of the boat.

Apart from immediate assistance offered to the bereaved families, Sall said that additional measures would also be put into place by the Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth to support the survivors of the shipwrecks.

This could provide the survivors, as well as other young people in the areas concerned, with the training and financing to develop income-generating projects, he added.

Since late September this year, there has been an upsurge in illegal immigration attempts with the departure of several boats from the Senegalese coast to Spain.

At least 140 died last week following the sinking of their boat off the Senegalese coast, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said in a statement.

The Senegalese government announced that between Oct. 7 and 25 this year, five boats carrying illegal immigration candidates were intercepted by the National Navy with the help from the Spanish Civil Guard and Senegalese fishermen.

On Oct. 26-27, neighboring Mauritania said it "saved" 295 Senegalese migrants heading for the Canary Islands.

According to the IOM, at least 414 people have died this year in their attempts to reach the Canary Islands.

"We call for unity between governments, partners and the international community to dismantle trafficking and smuggling networks that take advantage of desperate youth," said Bakary Doumbia, IOM Senegal chief of mission.

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