Cold night stranded on Spanish island for migrants

SIX members of the Spanish military took emergency supplies to a group of migrants left stranded on a tiny Spanish island off the coast of Morocco last night (November 18). 

They took water, food, thermal blankets and dry clothes for children to the 57 immigrants who were on isla Congreso, part of the Chafarinas islands, which are Spanish territory. 

A storm prevented the coast guard (Salvamento Maritimo) from picking the migrants up and taking them to the Spanish enclave of Melilla. 

The city was on yellow alert for adverse coastal weather, with expected waves up to three metres high. 

A spokesman for the Government Delegation said that the military detachment managed to land on the island a little after 8pm. 

Thee island is located 1.9 miles from the Moroccan coast and 27 miles from the coast of Melilla. 

The source said that of the 57 migrants, 47 are sub-Saharan – three children and 44 women, of whom two are pregnant and in apparent good health – and 10 from Southeast Asia – seven men and three women. 

Helena Maleno of the NGO Caminando Fronteras, disagreed with the figures, stating that 74 women and seven children had arrived in the Chafarinas islands. “At least three pregnant women and one says she is at the end of her pregnancy,” she said. 

The human rights activist also lamented that the food and warm clothes have been taken “13 hours after their arrival and that they are going to spend the night on the island due to the lack of means for their transfer.” 

The immigrants were transferred to Melilla today (November 19) after a cold night in the open. 


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Written by

Dilip Kuner

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