World

Dozens of migrants die off Senegal coast after boat capsizes

Senegal has been thrown into turmoil as elections meant for February were controversially delayed.

At least two dozen people have died in the sea off Senegal (Felipe Dana/AP)
Senegal Migrants Deaths At least two dozen people have died in the sea off Senegal (Felipe Dana/AP) (Felipe Dana/AP)

At least two dozen people died off the coast of Senegal and many others were injured when their boat capsized, officials said.

The boat bound for Europe capsized near the town of Saint-Louis, where bodies washed ashore on Wednesday afternoon and the fire department was alerted, said Alioune Badara Sambe, the local governor.

The injured are being treated in a hospital in Saint-Louis and an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the accident has been opened.

Demonstrators protest against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone elections (Stefan Kleinowitz/AP)
Senegal Elections Demonstrators protest against President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone elections (Stefan Kleinowitz/AP) (Stefan Kleinowitz/AP)

The number of migrants leaving from Senegal on rickety wooden boats surged last year and nearly 1,000 people died trying to reach Spain by sea in the first six months of 2023, according to the Spanish migration advocacy group Walking Borders.

Factors such as youth unemployment, political unrest and the impact of climate change push migrants to risk their lives on overcrowded boats.

Senegal has been thrown into turmoil as elections meant for February were controversially delayed by President Macky Sall, sparking deadly protests.

Elections have been proposed for June but it is unclear when or whether the president, whose term officially ends in April, will step down.