From file: A migrant boat crashed onto rocks off Sal Island, Cape Verde, November 19, 2020 | Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Avelino
From file: A migrant boat crashed onto rocks off Sal Island, Cape Verde, November 19, 2020 | Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Avelino

Eighty-eight people were rescued at the weekend from a small boat off Cape Verde in the Atlantic Ocean. The migrants had left Gambia more than three weeks ago. Two men died during the journey.

The Cape Verde news agency Inforpress reported on Sunday (January 15) that 90 people had been discovered the previous day in a small Pirogue – a canoe – which had run out of fuel.

Inforpress said the migrants had left Gambia in West Africa 25 days earlier. Citing police, it said the bodies of two men who had died during the journey were still on board.

Two teenagers on board

The Cape Verde police were alerted to the boat in distress by a lighthouse keeper on Boa Vista, the easternmost island of the archipelago, according to Inforpress. Among those on the boat were two teenagers aged 14 and 16. Six of the migrants were taken to hospital with dehydration.

Authorities were yet to confirm the nationalities of all of the migrants, a report in the online Cape Verde weekly Expresso das Ilhas said. Those who had been identified were from Gambia, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

The local commander of National Police, Evandro Sousa, said most of the rescued migrants were being accommodated in the Pavilhão Seixal, an indoor sports facility on Boa Vista.

"We are going to look for a better place to put them, knowing that it is a process that will take time [...] to make the decisions that have to be taken," VOA Portuguese news quoted Sousa as saying.

Cape Verde is a former Portuguese colony situated around 500 kilometers from the coast of Senegal. The archipelago is now an independent republic and, unlike the Canary Islands, is not part of the European Union.

With AFP

 

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