In Thiaroye-sur-Mer, Senegal, the lack of jobs is pushing the community’s youth to leave for Europe. Photo: Leslie Carretero
In Thiaroye-sur-Mer, Senegal, the lack of jobs is pushing the community’s youth to leave for Europe. Photo: Leslie Carretero

Senegalese police have arrested the father of a 15-year-old boy, who died at sea while trying to migrate to Europe. The boy, nicknamed Doudou, had reportedly been hoping to enroll at a football training center in Italy.

He was called Doudou. A 15-year-old boy from the western African state of Senegal who boarded a traditional wooden vessel in mid-October for Spain's Canary Islands, but didn't make it.

According to a Senegalese official, the boy's father had paid a smuggler the equivalent of €380 to take his son to Spain. Another contact was then meant to take him to Italy to enroll in a football training center.

Read more: Will Spain's Canaries turn into a second Lesbos amid surge in migration?

Local press reported that Doudou died after an illness and was thrown overboard, according to the news agency AFP.

Atlantic Ocean claims another victim

Doudou's fate has attracted attention in Senegal, which has recently seen an increase in migrants trying to reach Europe via the dangerous ocean crossing to the Canary Islands.

The Spanish Atlantic archipelago lies more than 100 kilometers from the coast of Africa at its closest point. The passage is usually made in wooden boats that are overcrowded and poorly maintained.

More and more migrants have been trying to reach Europe using the Atlantic route. At the end of October, more than 140 people died when a boat attempting the crossing sank off Senegal. The Senegalese government has disputed this figure.

In a statement from Wednesday (November 11), Senegal's police said that authorities have intercepted over 1,500 migrants in recent days.

With AFP

 

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