Senegal: Faced with the Departure of Migrants, the Mayor of Kafountine calls for an “Economic Response”

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The Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras alerted to the disappearance of three boats leaving Senegal, including one from Kafountine, in Casamance, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Senegal rejected these reports as “devoid of any foundation” in a press release published on Tuesday, July 11th. They also said that “260 Senegalese in distress have been rescued in Moroccan territorial waters” since June 28th.

In recent years, the mayor of the commune, David Diatta, has explained how Kafountine has become a departure point for migrants in addition to being a fishing village, popular with tourists, situated on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

Many of these migrants are not from Kafountine. They are not only residents of Senegal but also residents of the sub-region, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea-Conkary, as well as Nigerians. In the past, it was a shy affair because they left from Mbour, a small town located one hundred kilometers south of Dakar on a small “Côte”.

Already in June 2022, 15 migrants who left Kafountine for the Canary Islands had died after a fire broke out in the canoe. The town hall then launched awareness-raising activities.

David Diatta calls for an economic response, but also a security one, “91% of the area is in an island area. The islands are linked together by rivers, by backwaters, and there is not enough control. We proposed that there be a gendarmerie post, but also that there be a marine base. But we have no respondent at the level of the central authorities and here is the damage”.

Soukaina Sghir

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