Migrants stranded at sea to dock in Mauritania
9 February 2007, MADRID — Hundreds of immigrants who have been stranded on a ship for nearly a week are to be allowed to dock Mauritania on Friday.
9 February 2007
MADRID — Hundreds of immigrants who have been stranded on a ship for nearly a week are to be allowed to dock Mauritania on Friday.
Mauritania agreed to allow ashore the Asian and African migrants, after a deal was reached between Spanish and Mauritanian diplomats.
The Marine 1 will be towed into the northern port of Nouadhibou, said deputy prime minister Maria Teresa Fernandez.
Officials from Guinea, where the boat is thought to have set out from, will then try and identify the rest of up to 400 migrants thought to be aboard the vessel.
Fernandez de la Vega said: "Once they have been identified, work will start to repatriate them to their countries of origin."
She said Spain had agreed to give Mauritania with an EUR 650,000 to help strengten its borders.
Spain will also sponsor job programmes in Guinea and Gambia to stop illegal immigration, she said.
The Marine 1 was spotted drifting in the sea last Friday.
Spanish coastguards towed it towards the Mauritanian port but the government refused to accept the illegal immigrants.
More than 300 migrants claim they are from Indian Kashmir so could be eligible for asylum.
Others say they are from Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka and Liberia, said the Red Cross.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news