Gambia mourns as migrants perish on perilous journey to Europe

In a heartbreaking turn of events, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambians Abroad expresses deep condolences to the grieving families of Gambian migrants who tragically lost their lives while attempting to reach Europe through perilous boat journeys.

The condolence message was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday November 14, 2023.

“The surge in irregular migration has led to a series of devastating incidents in the Mediterranean, claiming lives as boats capsized or went missing for extended periods beyond their expected arrival times,” the message reads.

The grim reality unfolds across multiple locations, with recorded deaths in Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

Rescue operations and interceptions at sea or on shore have been ongoing since early October 2023.

The government acknowledges these losses and extends heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved families scattered across the nation.

Regrettably, the government urges against participating in or facilitating such hazardous journeys that have cost the lives of the nation’s promising youth.

A stern warning is issued to the public, emphasizing the heightened vigilance of the Senegalese, Mauritanian, and Moroccan Coast Guards and Navy, actively patrolling to intercept irregular migrant boats.

Recent events highlight the urgency of this caution, with the Moroccan Royal Navy successfully intercepting and rescuing 133 Gambian migrants from three different boats around Dakhla.

The increasing frequency of interceptions underscores the severity of the situation, with Senegalese Border Police rescuing Gambian migrant boats almost every other day in the past three weeks.

On November 12, 2023, the Senegalese Border Police urgently informed The Gambia High Commission in Dakar, seeking assistance in the evacuation of 175 Gambian migrants.

These individuals were intercepted and rescued at sea, adding to the growing toll of lives affected by this ongoing tragedy.

As the nation grapples with the loss of its citizens, the government issues a poignant plea for collective efforts to discourage and prevent further tragedies at sea.

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