Spain expels hundreds of Africans

Nearly 450 African immigrants who entered Spain illegally have been flown to Saint Louis in northern Senegal.

Spain expels hundreds of Africans

Most of those on board the six flights from the Canary Islands on Sunday were from Senegal, but others were thought to have come from Guinea, Ivory Coast, Mali and Mauritania.

"Those who say they are of other nationalities [beside Senegalese] will be taken to Dakar where they can contact the embassies of their countries of origin," Commander Alexis Correa, a member of the national committee for managing the repatriated and displaced, said.
"I don't understand," one would-be immigrant told to the AFP news agency. "I am from Ivory Coast, and I have been taken to Senegal, which is not my country."

Upon arriving in Saint Louis, each person was given the equivalent of 15 euros so that they could get back to their homes and families, Correa said.
Correa said the return had been organised at the request of the Spanish authorities.
"It is a one-off operation which ends today," he said.

Some of the Senegalese migrants repatriated from the Canaries claimed they had been told initially they were being flown to the Spanish mainland.

"When we took the plane, we were told we were going to Madrid or Barcelona. Now here we are back in Senegal," one of the men, who did not give his name, told Senegalese radio.
Mass repatriation

Nearly 4,500 Senegalese have been repatriated from Spain in little more than a month.

Madrid has agreed to grant more work permits for Senegalese immigrants and increase development aid to the west African country in an attempt to bring illegal immigration under control.

In December, Senegal agreed to a six-month extension of air and sea patrols by Spanish and other European Union forces along its coast as part of a strategy to halt the exodus.

About 31,000 Africans landed in the Canary Islands last year after perilous sea journeys in open wooden fishing boats.
Spanish officials estimate almost one in six would-be immigrants die in the attempt to reach the islands.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16