Moroccan military intercepts migrant boat bound for the Canary Islands

Moroccan military intercepts migrant boat bound for the Canary Islands

A Moroccan coastal patrol vessel intercepted a stranded boat carrying 52 irregular migrants near Dakhla Sunday, after it ran aground approximately 170 kilometers south of the city of Dakhla. The sub-Saharan migrants had embarked from the Mauritanian coast with the goal of reaching the Canary Islands. They were provided with necessary medical attention before being handed over to the Royal Gendarmerie for processing.

The patrol is part of Morocco’s national strategy to combat irregular migration and human trafficking.

An increasing number of migrants are making the journey to the Canary Islands. In January alone, about 6,600 individuals attempted the crossing- a tenfold rise over the same period last year, according to regional media. This jump constrasts with a general decline in irregular migration to other European destinations. The increase is driven in part by deteriorating security, economic stagnation, and political upheaval across the Sahel region.

Frontex the EU border agency has highlighted the role of criminal groups in Mauritania which exploit sub-Saharan immigrants crossing the West African country, en route to the Canary Islands.

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