Western African migration route deadliest in world, over 4,000 deaths in 2021

Las Palmas, Spain, Jan 5 (EFE).- Baby Mohamed would have turned seven months old this month.

But instead, the Ivorian boy is being buried two months after dying on the dangerous migration route from Western Africa to the Canary Islands.

Mohamed’s mother has been separated from her child’s body for 71 long days after, on the night of October 24, a helicopter pulled her dead baby out of a dinghy in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Since then, the child’s body has been held in a morgue along with hundreds of others who died on their way to Europe in search of a better life.

Mohamed is one of the 4,016 people who have died or gone missing on the Western African Migration Route in 2021, according to NGO Caminando Fronteras, even though the figure could be much higher as dozens of shipwrecks go unreported, with no survivors to tell the story.

On the same ‘patera’ Mohamed, his sister and mother were traveling on, four other babies and several women had died by the time the rescue ship reached port Arguineguín on the south coast of Gran Canaria.

The unprecedented figure of migrant deaths in the Atlantic Ocean has made the Western African migration route the deadliest in the world, with almost one death for every five people who make it to land.

The various routes from West Africa to the Canary Islands, some over 1,000 kilometers in distance, have claimed an average of eleven deaths per day, meaning one person dies every two hours during the crossing.

In 95% of cases, the bodies are never retrieved. EFE


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