Migrants disembark in Mauritania

Up to 400 handed over to Spanish police after Mauritania and Spain reach a deal.

    The boat has been waiting off the coast of Mauritania for more than 10 days [AFP]

    Mauritanian and Spanish health personnel had set up a makeshift treatment centre in the port of Nouadhibou to assist the migrants, some of whom were reported to be suffering from diarrhoea and sea-sickness.

    Repatriation

    Mohamed Yahya Ould Mohamed Vall, the governor of Nouadhibou, said six of the migrants were evacuated to nearby hospitals by the local Red Cross.

    He said: "

    Only the sick who require hospitalisation will be allowed to stay at Nouadhibou and after they get well, they will be sent to Spain and out of Mauritania to their country of origin."

    After identity checks, the migrants were due to be escorted by Spanish police officers to planes which would either repatriate them to their countries of origin - if these could be established - or fly them to

     

    Spanish territory where their immigration status would be decided, diplomats said.

    Mauritania had initially refused to accept the wooden boat, known as the Marine 1, which is believed to have set sail from Guinea and was heading towards Spain's Canary Islands.

    The ship sent out an SOS signal after its motors broke down in international waters off Senegal on February 2 and was intercepted the next day by the Spanish coastguard which towed it close to Mauritania's fishing port of Nouadhibou.

    The Marine 1 has become a test case for Spain, which launched a diplomatic offensive in West Africa last year in a bid to stem soaring illegal migration from the poverty-stricken region to the Canaries.

    Madrid has been offering increased aid in return for help to halt clandestine migration.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.