The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Senegal, Africa:
Undocumented immigrants

Jul 23, 2007

The following two articles were translated from the May 14 issue of Le Pouvoir aux Travailleurs (Workers Power), a publication put out by comrades in the African Union of Internationalist Communist Workers.

Gazelles treated better than people

The Spanish government offered Senegal 20 gazelles of the Dorcas species to populate a wild animal reserve near the city of Saint Louis, Senegal. A Spanish army plane was specially chartered to transport these animals. This takes place at the same time that Spanish planes regularly shuttle between the Canary Islands and Saint Louis expelling clandestine Senegalese immigrants.

It’s indecent to see gazelles better treated than humans.

Reinforcement of controls along the coasts won’t stop illegal immigration

The Spanish army and the Senegalese authorities increased joint police controls along the Senegalese coast to prevent immigration of African nationals to Spain’s Canary Islands. A boat ready to transport 140 Africans of different nationalities from the country of Guinea-Bissau was intercepted before it had even gone to sea. The majority were arrested and detained in a military camp. This happened last April 30. But ten days later, a Senegalese newspaper said that 50 Senegalese were still detained in the Guinea-Bissau camp. The Senegalese authorities aren’t in a hurry to get them out. The authorities want to show Spain, and all the European countries affected by immigration, that they can count on Senegal to struggle against this type of immigration and by extending the period in prison, they pretend they can deter others from trying. Of course, they expect a nice cash payment in exchange for their collaboration.

Because it’s become more difficult to leave Senegal or Mauritania, those trying to emigrate take more risks while making a longer crossing. They leave further away to escape the coast guard’s patrols. There are more and more deaths due to makeshift boats sinking, while the planes coming back to the city of Saint Louis transporting those who failed in their attempts are always full.

But no barriers can stop the migration of poor people who are driven to leave by hunger and misery.