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    1. #1
      Fekuni (Member)
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      Default Mauritania food aid for migrants

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6334633.stm

      Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 15:46 GMT

      Mauritania food aid for migrants

      A boat has delivered food and water to a ship carrying migrants, anchored off the coast of Mauritania, officials say.

      The 1,200kg of biscuits, bread and cheese was organised by the Red Crescent and Red Cross (ICRC) but they say the 400 migrants need more food.

      The boat is being pummelled by 5m-high waves, an ICRC official said.

      Mauritania is still refusing to let the ship dock, after it broke down in international waters and was towed close to shore by a Spanish boat.

      Long journey

      The migrants told the ICRC by radio they came from Kashmir and unnamed African countries.

      They did not say if they were from Pakistani- or Indian-administered Kashmir.


      "As shipwrecked people, they must be landed in Mauritania and repatriated from Mauritania"
      Spanish foreign ministry spokesman
      "We have not been able to board the ship and see for ourselves but they say there are no women or children on board," Ahmedou Ould Haye from the Mauritanian Red Crescent told BBC News.

      Olga Martinez from the ICRC said that some of the migrants had not had anything to eat for several days but that another boat would take more food soon.

      She said the boat had left the Guinea capital, Conakry, presumably on its way to Europe.

      She said it was not unusual for Asian migrants to travel to Africa en route for Europe.

      'Danger'

      The Geneva-based International Organization for Migration (IOM) has urged foreign governments to assist those on board the ship.

      "You can't leave people in a situation of danger... those who have the means to help should do so. A decision needs to be taken," Armand Rousselot, IOM representative for West and Central Africa, told Reuters news agency.

      The Mauritanian and Spanish governments are negotiating about what should be done with the ship and its passengers.

      "As shipwrecked people, they must be landed in Mauritania and repatriated from Mauritania," a Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman said, reports the Reuters news agency.

      "We want to find a solution based on law."

      The Mauritanian foreign ministry had said the ship was carrying some 200 Pakistani nationals.

      It was reached by a Spanish vessel on Saturday and towed to within 12km (7.5 miles) of Nouadhibou port.

      Canary route

      "Mauritania has nothing to do with this boat breaking down, nor with taking charge of those on board," said a foreign ministry statement on Monday.

      Neighbouring Senegal has also said it could not handle the ship.

      Senegal and Mauritania are launching points for tens of thousands of African migrants looking to reach Europe, many via the Canary Islands.

      About 30,000 Africans were caught trying to reach the Spanish island chain last year.

      EU patrols are now trying to stem the flow of immigrants.

    2. #2
      Fekuni (Member)
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      aziza's Avatar
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      Default Stricken migrant ship due to dock

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6352623.stm

      Sunday, 11 February 2007, 22:52 GMT

      Stricken migrant ship due to dock

      The ship's engine failed off the Senegalese coast

      A stricken ship carrying hundreds of migrants, which has spent a week at sea off the coast of Mauritania, is expected to dock on Monday.

      The vessel was given clearance to dock after Spain, the migrants' intended destination, agreed to pay for the their medical treatment and travel.

      Doctors have now been despatched to the Marine 1, several miles offshore, amid concern for the migrants' well-being.

      Mauritania has said medical facilities must be ready before docking can start.

      The ship broke down in international waters last week and was towed close to shore by a Spanish boat.

      It has since been waiting for clearance to dock at the port city of Nouadhibou.

      Vulnerable

      Under the terms of the agreement, the sick and vulnerable will be treated in Mauritania, while Spain will arrange the repatriation of the rest of the migrants from Asia and Africa.

      Blankets and clothes are being delivered to those on board the ship.

      Olga Martinez, of the Spanish Red Cross, said: "A launch has departed with personnel from the Spanish Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

      "They have been at sea for a long time and from our telephone contacts we can say that there are people with diarrhoea onboard and many weak people."

      Spanish consular officials in Nouadhibou said the vessel was expected to arrive early on Monday.

      Warning

      But Nouadhibou Governor Mohamed Yahya Ould Mohamed Vall warned that Monday would be the earliest opportunity for the ship to come ashore.

      He added that three planes had already arrived to transport the migrants back to their countries of origin.

      The migrants were believed to be trying to reach Spain's Canary Islands in the Atlantic.

      Some of them are believed to come from Kashmir but it is not known whether they are from Pakistan or India-administered Kashmir.

      Previously, aid workers have delivered food and water to the migrants who are thought to have set sail from Guinea.

      About 30,000 Africans were caught trying to reach the Canary Islands last year.

      EU patrols are now trying to stem the flow of immigrants.

     

     
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