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EU Partners With Mauritania To Help Stop Europe-Bound Migrants

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On Thursday, Mauritania and the European Union sealed a migration pact amid Mauritania’s struggles to curb a surge in migrants undertaking perilous voyages across the Atlantic Ocean towards Spain’s Canary Islands.

In Nouakchott, European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, hailed the agreement, which includes a $230 million allocation to Mauritania for managing migration and combating human traffickers.

“The route from Mauritania to the Canary Islands is among the most treacherous and deadly,” Johansson emphasized, underscoring the necessity to bolster collaboration, enhance border management, and intensify search-and-rescue efforts.

Spain has reported nearly 12,000 migrants and refugees reaching its Atlantic Ocean archipelago within the first two months of the year, situated approximately 100 kilometers off Africa’s coast. Despite many surviving the hazardous journey, numerous perish or vanish en route.

Mauritania’s Minister for the Economy and Sustainable Development, Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, affirmed the nation’s stance against irregular migration, echoing the European Union’s support for the common agreement, emphasizing that Mauritania won’t receive or accommodate such migrants.

Spain has long dispatched national police and civil guards to Mauritania to aid local authorities in preventing migrants from Mauritania and neighboring countries from embarking on the perilous voyage.

According to the International Organization for Migration’s Missing Migrants Project, at least 191 migrants have been reported dead or missing in 2024 while attempting to reach the Canary Islands. However, this figure is presumed to be an underestimate.