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Spain says more than 1,000 migrants reach Canary Islands in three days after record crossings in 2023 | World News


More than a thousand migrants crossed the Atlantic and arrived at Spain’s Canary Islands over the weekend.

Spain’s marine rescue service said one body was found in the 18 boats that arrived from sub-Saharan countries over the last three days.

Officials noted that the archipelago has seen a surge in migrant arrivals since the start of 2024, with 7,270 making the crossing in January.

They added last month’s figures are around the same number of arrivals as there were in the first six months of last year.

With most of the boats coming from Mauritania in Africa, Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen will visit the country on Thursday to discuss how to curb migration.

Spain and the European Union have a co-operation agreement with Mauritania to try and reduce the number of migrants arriving on the islands.

The Red Cross charity says some migrating from West Africa are forced to do so because of extreme poverty, lack of job opportunities, violent conflict, and climate change.

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Spain’s interior ministry said a record 55,618 migrants arrived by boat in 2023 – almost double the number of 2022 – with most landing in the Canary Islands.

Non-profit organisation Caminando Fronteras say that more than 6,600 migrants died while trying to reach Spain by boat last year, most of them on the Atlantic route.

The figure is more than double the number reported by the organisation for 2022. Caminando Fronteras says it compiles its own figures from families of migrants and rescue statistics.

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