Five Moroccan migrants drowned as their boat sank across the Western Sahara, according to The New Arab.
The Moroccan navy has stated that is has rescued nearly 900 migrants between July 10 and 17 whilst the Spanish coastguard rescued a boat carrying migrants off the Canary Islands, pulling 84 people to safety.
Spain’s coastguard reported that during that journey, a body of a man who died on the way to Spain was found.
A boat went down near Dakhla, in the Western Sahara, at the end of July. Moroccan migrants have been trying to reach Spain with the number of arrivals multiplying, according to the report of July 26th.
Mohamed Zendour of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) noted that the vessel carrying around 60 migrants capsized not far from the coast due to harsh waves. Mr. Zendour stressed that the death toll could rise.
Situated in the northwest of Africa, Morocco is a transit country for many migrants attempting to get to Europe either by taking the route to the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean or via Spain’s mainland.
The Canary Islands is around 150 km away from Southern Morocco making it a viable option for migrants seeking to head to Europe for a better life. Many boats set off to Europe from the coastline of Mauritania, Morocco and Senegal.
Atlantic crossings have been on the rise since 2019 due to the increase in patrols by authorities across Europe’s southern coast which has resulted in many migrant boats who attempt to cross the Mediterranean being intercepted.
Moroccan authorities did not make an immediate comment following the tragic incident.
THE NEW ARAB