According to residents in the tiny fishing town of St. Louis, remains of unknown people in unmarked graves have been uncovered along the beach in their village.
However, Senegalese authorities, residents along the coast, and people who survived their failed boat crossings, confirmed that, the unidentified beach graves consist of unknown number of West African migrants, who tried to make the perilous crossing via the Atlantic Ocean in order to reach Europe.
Official in the town of St. Louis have acknowledged that, remains of these unknown migrants are sometimes buried there. They further explained, burial can only be done, if the local prosecutor approves, and he only approves if the remains have extensive decay.
Lawyers and human rights advocates implied that, it is unclear if fatalities are registered or examined as required by Senegalese law and international law, when fishermen discover remains washed ashore, after which they have been buried by authorities.
Though the precise number of the dead has not been confirmed, activists and authorities have recorded hundreds of deaths and missing persons over the previous month, which makes a significant increase in both missing individuals and fatalities.
Despite the fact that, the migration from Africa to Europe via the Atlantic remains one of the most dangerous routs in the world, the use of flimsy boats by migrants in Senegal to Spain has seen a gargantuan spike over the past year.
Senegal, like the majority of countries in the region, doesn’t disclose much statistics regarding migrants who undertake the journey, or those who perish while doing so.
Moreover, the spokesman for the Senegal Ministry of Interior, Maham Ka, confirmed that, Senegalese security forces apprehended over 725 migrants through the month of June.
As the European Union make efforts to aid North and West African countries to find a lasting solution to this recurring problem, the issues of migrant deaths have surged in recent months.
A Spanish official further raised concerns over the 1,100 migrants, who disembarked from the canaries. The official explained that, the whereabouts of over thousand individuals who were unsuccessful in their perilous journey, remains unknown.
According to his thoughts, they might have drowned at sea, saved from sinking vessels, or they have been taken in by law enforcement agencies, precisely border authorities.
Data from the international Migration Organization revealed that, over 2,300 migrants left the West African Nation in the half of the year, with the aim of reaching the Spanish canary Island. The data also showed that, this makes it a double increase as compared to a similar period in 2022.
On the other hand, families may suffer greatly from getting no answers regarding their lost loved ones. Per Mouhamed Niang, he submitted a missing person report about his 19 and 24-year old nephews, over a month ago, and he hasn’t received any information from the officials.
Niang said, His friends would inform, whenever boats are discovered or remains washed up on the shore. But to contact the police or go to the morgue, he would have to make a three-hour bus journey from Mbour to Saint-Louis in the north.
He claimed that, he was aware of the remains on the beach. His greatest concern was that, the young men might be among them. “They are human beings. They should be buried where human beings are buried,” Niang said.
The majority of the families, that have loved ones buried don’t even have an idea of what happened to them. “Why take it to the morgue since no one can recognize it,” the Fire Brigade Commander for three northern Senegal regions, Amadou Fall queried.