Criticized for his silence on the wave of departures of young people in so-called clandestine emigration and its growing toll of victims, Macky Sall, on Wednesday November 18, “finally” spoke of the subject, according to the daily EnQuete, during a Council of Ministers. The flagship measure he announced is the creation of the CNIEJ, a “strategic advisory body of impetus, which will be set up in the second half of December 2020.”
In this regard, President Sall says he has given instructions to the ministers in charge of Employment, Vocational Training, Apprenticeship and Integration, Work and Youth to submit to him, through the minister-secretary general of the government, a project relating to the creation of this body. It will be examined in the Council of Ministers before the end of December 2020, the statement said.
Addressing the issue related to the upsurge in irregular emigration from the Senegalese coasts “and its media coverage.” the Head of State reaffirmed to the competent ministers and the defense and security forces, “the imperative need and systematic strengthening of the surveillance and control systems of the national maritime space, and particularly of the coast.” For him, the focus should be “on the fishing grounds, which are the main points of departure for illegal migrants.”
Macky Sall also called on his government to pay more attention to the economic recovery and social situation of people in fishing areas. “The latter must be more sensitized and supported, with diligence and efficiency, by the public funding and support mechanisms to be deployed quickly and effectively in the targeted areas,” he noted.
In recent months, illegal maritime migration has increased dramatically. Almost every week, new canoes land on the Canary Islands, even if several migrants leave their lives at sea.
In the group of travelers, there are mostly fishermen who deplore the scarcity of fish at sea, thus reducing their daily and even weekly income. Some of them accuse the State of having favored foreign fishing boats, especially from the West, which manage to harvest almost all the fish with their powerful nets.
Last week, the European Union (EU) renewed its fisheries agreements with Senegal. The protocol allows 45 European vessels to fish at least 10,000 tonnes of tuna and 1,750 tonnes of black hake per year for a financial contribution of 15 million euros, or nearly 10 billion FCFA, over a five-year period. But this renewal created a general outcry among the public opinion given the context marked by the many victims of the famous Wolof slogan “Barça wala Barsakh,” meaning “Reaching Europe at all costs, even if it means losing your life.”
On the other hand, President Sall recalled “the many achievements” made by the government in the fishing sector before urging the Minister of Fisheries and Maritime Economy to “increase stakeholders’ awareness” on issues relating to safety at sea. In this regard, he asked him to ensure the satisfactory resumption of the program to provide fishermen with life jackets.