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Senegal repatriates 40 survivors of deadly crossing in Cape Verde

Senegalese disembarking from military plane   -  
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Senegal repatriated on Monday from Cape Verde some forty nationals who survived a crossing which was to take them to Europe and which cost the lives of around sixty migrants, AFP journalists noted.

The survivors, all men, mostly young and rescued last week aboard a canoe off Cape Verde, were brought back to the country by a Senegalese military plane which landed at the end of the afternoon. at an air base in the center of Dakar.

They were part of the hundred Senegalese and a Bissau-Guinean who embarked on July 10 in the fishing town of Fass Boye (west) to try to reach Europe by the Atlantic along the African coast.

Their boat was spotted on August 14 off the Cape Verdean archipelago, with officially 38 survivors. Rescuers recovered seven bodies.

These will be buried in Cape Verde, said the Minister Delegate for Senegalese Abroad Annette Seck Ndiaye. The decision was taken in consultation with the families, said the minister delegate, who had returned from Cape Verde with her compatriots, to journalists.

Relatives of the survivors came to welcome them when they arrived.

One of the survivors remained in Cape Verde and is treated there "because his state of health did not allow him to make the trip", said the minister delegate.

Thousands of Africans fleeing poverty or war or hoping for a better life take this same sea route every year to try to reach Europe, despite the dangerousness of the journey which kills hundreds of them.

They travel aboard modest boats or motorized canoes provided by smugglers who pay for the trip. Many land in the Canary Islands, the Spanish archipelago and gateway to Europe.

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