The Senegalese coasts were unfortunately the scene of a new drama on Monday, June 27, 2022. In the commune of Kafountine in the south of Senegal, a fire broke out in a canoe of migrants leaving for Europe. According to local media and emergency services, at least 14 deaths have been recorded so far. Approximately 140 migrants were in the boat. Nearly a hundred surviving migrants were rescued and heard by the Kafountine gendarmerie services for the purposes of the investigation.
Some of the victims who were burned were treated at a health centre in Ziguinchor. According to the testimonies of the survivors, a migrant who smoked a cigarette next to the fuel reserves was the cause of the fire. Rescue operations are still ongoing to find the missing persons. The networks of smugglers, true organizers of these clandestine trips are actively sought by the Senegalese authorities.
These tragedies are unfortunately common on the Senegalese coasts. Many migrants mainly from the West African sub-region are regularly victims of these unfortunate accidents. Despite the presence of Frontex, this mixed patrol composed of Senegalese and European police, hundreds of migrants perished on these coasts in similar tragedies. The recurrence of these misfortunes is particularly worrying. On Friday, June 24, about twenty migrants had lost their lives by attempting a massive entry into the Spanish enclave of Melilla, on the border with Morocco. It is therefore urgent that the issue of illegal migration be seriously managed by the States and organizations concerned. It is inconceivable that young people in search of better living conditions find death in an almost total indifference of the international community.
The sub-Saharan states, from which the majority of migrants start, will have to conduct a real social policy to keep their youth at home. This is not an easy task in view of their extremely difficult economic situation. This policy could be done with the support of European countries because their continent is the dream destination of migrants. This combination of efforts could help reduce tragedies.