Moroccan state media on Tuesday reported that the country’s navy successfully rescued close to 200 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who were aboard fragile boats near the southern coast of Morocco and Western Sahara.
Taking into account this most recent batch, a minimum of 518 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa have been returned to Morocco since August 8, as per a count by media sources relying on information from Moroccan military sources.
According to a military source who spoke to the state news agency MAP, sailors discovered the most recent group, comprising 190 individuals, in the “waters between Tan-Tan and Dakhla.”
Among those rescued, there were 11 women, MAP reported.
Located to the west of Tan-Tan and northeast of Dakhla in the disputed Western Sahara, Spain’s Canary Islands are situated just approximately 150 kilometers (93 miles) off the southern coast of Morocco.
In recent weeks, there has been a noticeable increase in activity along the Canary migratory route.
During the initial five months of 2023, Moroccan authorities reported the prevention of approximately 26,000 cases of irregular migration attempts.
According to data from the Spanish interior ministry, a total of 7,213 migrants arrived in the Canary Islands by boat during the initial six months.
In mid-July, authorities in Senegal confirmed that a tragic incident occurred where a boat carrying Senegalese migrants sank off the coast of Morocco, resulting in the unfortunate loss of at least 13 lives.