The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambians Abroad extends its sympathy and condolences to the bereaved families of Gambian migrants who lost their lives en route to Europe through boats from early October 2023 to date. There has been a surge of Gambians traveling irregularly through the Mediterranean to Europe, resulting in sustained deaths due to boat capsizing or being lost at sea for several days beyond the expected time of arrival, leading to a lack of food and water.
The deaths of Gambian migrants have been recorded in Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tenerife in the Canary Islands at different times following rescue operations and interceptions at sea or onshore since early October 2023. The government regrets these deaths while extending sympathy and condolences to bereaved families across the country.
The government wishes to inform everyone to refrain from facilitating or embarking on such a perilous journey that is costing the lives of our able youth. The general public is informed that the Senegalese, Mauritanian, and Moroccan Coast Guards and Navy are patrolling their waters to intercept irregular migrant boats. Currently, three different boats have been intercepted and rescued by the Moroccan Royal Navy around Dakhla, carrying on board 61, 46, and 26 Gambian migrants, respectively. This brings the total number of Gambian migrants evacuated from Morocco to The Gambia to 133.
For the past three weeks, almost every other day, the Senegalese Border Police have been intercepting Gambian migrant boats. On November 12, 2023, the Senegalese Border Police informed and requested The Gambia High Commission in Dakar to facilitate the evacuation of 175 Gambian migrants whose boats were intercepted and rescued at sea. In view of the above, everyone is requested to be vigilant and inform The Gambia Immigration Department and Gambia Navy about any boats seen carrying irregular migrants or any boat on the verge of embarking on such a perilous journey.
Gambian Missions in Senegal, Mauritania, Morocco, and Spain continue to work with the authorities in those countries to get the exact figures and details of fatalities. The government will continue its bilateral engagements in a bid to create more regular pathways through labor and circular migration schemes and will invest more in skills and vocational training as career paths for our youth.
The government wishes to assure the general public that it will continue to do everything within its powers to cater for the welfare and well-being of Gambian migrants everywhere.
Ya Awa Touray
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Gambia
No.4 Marina Parade Banjul
Facebook: Ministry of Foreign Affairs-The Gambia
Tel: (+220) 4225654/6 Mob: (+220) 2122313