Welcome to Africanews

Please select your experience

Watch Live



1,500 African migrants arrived in the Canaries over the weekend

Migrants arriving on the Canary island of El Hierro, October 21, 2023.   -  
Copyright © africanews
STRINGER/AFP or licensors


Nearly 1,500 African migrants have arrived on the coasts of the Canary Islands since Saturday, notably aboard a boat which carried a record number of 321 people, the rescue services of the Spanish archipelago off the coast of Morocco announced on Sunday.

In total, 1,427 migrants reached the islands in different precarious boats between the night of Friday and Saturday and the morning of Sunday, emergency services announced. Migrant arrivals have been increasing in recent weeks.

The migrants come from sub-Saharan Africa , a spokesperson for the emergency services told AFP.

On Saturday, a wooden canoe reached El Hierro Island with 321 people on board.

The previous record for the number of passengers on a single boat arriving in the Canaries was 280 on October 3.

Public TV channel TVE showed images of the colorful boat's arrival at the port on Saturday, crowded with smiling and waving migrants around them.

According to the latest figures from the Spanish Interior Ministry , the archipelago received 23,537 migrants between January 1 and October 15, almost 80% more than over the same period last year.

During the first two weeks of October, 8,561 migrants arrived, a record figure according to Spanish media, since a previous migration crisis in 2006.

This "resurgence" of arrivals is linked to "the destabilization in the Sahel ", said the Spanish Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska during a visit to the Canaries this week.

The migration route passing through the Canaries has been very busy in recent years due to the tightening of controls in the Mediterranean Sea.

But shipwrecks are frequent during these long and dangerous crossings aboard small boats from Morocco or Western Sahara, about a hundred kilometers away, but also, further south, from Mauritania, Senegal and even Gambia. , about a thousand kilometers away.

View more