EU Leaders To Address African Migration Crisis

Two top EU leaders arrived in the African coastal country of Mauritania and are scheduled to sign accords with the president on migration, security, and green energy in response to the steep increase in the number of people attempting the risky Atlantic crossing to Europe.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were in the capital city of Nouakchott, meeting with President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

The Northwest African nation of Mauritania is surrounded by Senegal, Algeria, Mali, the Western Sahara, and the Atlantic Ocean. About 4.6 million live in the country, with the north being home to Arab-Berbers, while the south is home to Africans. As one of Africa’s most recent oil producers, the nation also has a treasure trove of material resources, particularly iron and ore.

Reports show Spain’s Canary Islands are a major transit point for migrants heading to mainland Europe.  This January alone, 7,270 people arrived, comparable to the number of arrivals in the first half of 2023.

Nearly forty thousand individuals landed on the coasts of the Canary Islands last year via boats from West Africa, adding to the record number of landings that year. Most of the migrants this year have taken chances and left the impoverished country even though there are coast patrols from both Spain and Mauritania guarding the seas.

Among the more stable nations in the dangerous Sahel area, Mauritania has been praised as an important ally of the European Union and Spain in the battle against human trafficking. Smugglers’ boats often depart from Mauritania carrying migrants from neighboring Senegal and Mali.

According to foreign media, European authorities are anticipated to sign several funding and development initiatives on green hydrogen as part of their energy transformation strategy. They will also announce more cash for human trafficking, illegal immigration enforcement, and humanitarian help.