Migrants adrift off Mauritania 'like sardines in tin'

8th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2007, GRAN CANARIA — A leading Canary Islands politician said on Thursday hundreds of migrants stranded on a boat off Mauritania 'were like sardines in a tin'.

8 February 2007

GRAN CANARIA — A leading Canary Islands politician said on Thursday hundreds of migrants stranded on a boat off Mauritania 'were like sardines in a tin'.

José Segura Clavell, an official of the regional Canary Islands' government, said 400 migrants have been kept for four days in seas of west coast of Africa.

"They are human beings and they are like sardines in a tin in bad physical conditions," he said.

The Marine I was spotted off the coast of the Canary Islands last Friday and escorted to the northern Mauritania port of Nuakchott, which is the nearest port.

Mauritania has refused to take the migrants, who are mostly from Asia.

Clavell told Cadena SER radio station they were in poor physical conditions but they "were people" all the same.

Estimates have varied as to the number of people on board the boat, ranging from 200 to 400.

But Spanish coastguards said the ship had supplies to remain at sea for sometime more.

Mauritania's refusal to accept the immigrants appeared break an international agreement to which it signed up.

The accord means it must take migrants adrift on the sea if the nearest port is in Muaritania.

Spain and Mauritania are trying to reach a deal to find a port for the would-be migrants.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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