African migrants turn to deadly ocean route as options narrow

DAKAR (Reuters) – Assane Diallo is making final preparations for a journey he knows could cost him his life: one thousand miles across open ocean from Senegal to the Canary Islands in a 50-foot wooden boat held together with rusty nails.

The 35-year-old fisherman hopes to push off this week from a beach in the capital Dakar with water, dried food and potentially dozens of passengers. He just needs two motors and enough petrol for the week-long journey and also to patch up a three-foot (1 meter) gash in the hull.

Diallo is part of a resurgence in African migrants taking the treacherous Atlantic route to the Spanish territory this year in search of jobs and prosperity that they cannot find at home.

Many migrants see the chain of islands off the Moroccan coast as the only viable option…

Read More