Tuesday, April 10, 2007

African illegal immigrants turn violent and throw Molotov cocktails at a Spanish patrol vessel

Associated Press:

The wooden boat was carrying 57 people, including two children, when a Spanish patrol boat intercepted it April 4 off the coast of Mauritania, police in the islands said Tuesday. Spanish vessels are stationed in Mauritania as part of a European drive to keep Africans from setting out on dangerous journeys to the Canary Islands.

When the patrol boat got close, some of those aboard the smaller vessel threw Molotov cocktails and other projectiles at the Spanish boat. No one was injured.

The Spanish Civil Guard police then dropped a Zodiac inflatable raft into the water and used it to try again to get close to the Africans and calm them down, but people on the boat tried to slash the raft with sharp objects, police said.

Authorities in the Canary Islands say this is the first time a patrol boat trying to detain people on the high seas came under attack in the decade since the Canary Islands became a destination for Africans trying to escape poverty and reach Europe's southern gateway.

Jose Segura, director of the Spanish Interior Ministry office in the islands, expressed hope that "this will just be an isolated incident, fruit of the desperation of these people in the middle of the ocean as they try to reach Europe."

Rather than open fire to stop the boat, the Spaniards gave up and let it continue on its route to the Canary Islands. It arrived Sunday on the southeast coast of the island of Gran Canaria and everybody on board was detained.

A Spanish Civil Guard officer who witnessed the attack was flown in from Mauritania to identify the assailants.

Normally, Africans who manage to reach the Canary Islands in such small overcrowded boats are kept in a holding camp for 40 days and eventually set free, but without residency papers or work permits, if the Spanish authorities cannot identify them.

This time Mauritania has agreed to take back the alleged assailants — their precise number is not known — right away for trial because the attack occurred in Mauritanian waters. The rest of the people on the boat will be allowed to stay in Spain.

If the Spanish had any brains they would have opened fire on these savages.

Spain nabs 112 Africans trying to reach Canaries: Likely start of perilous migration for thousands seeking foothold in Europe


At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they sink a few ships, it will dissuade other Africans from trying their luck in boats. A few innocents will have to be sacrificed to save many who would drown on those dangerous voyages. How could the left complain, they are all about having people make sacrifices (whether they want to or not) for the greater good.

At 2:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Spanish had any brains they would have opened fire on these savages.

I don't agree -- this would not be the right thing to do, and would only provoke worldwide outrage (justifiably, IMO) and sympathy for the 'migrants'.

If they sink a few ships, it will dissuade other Africans from trying their luck in boats.

Many would also die -- drown -- and it is not necessary to kill anyone to provide a deterrent.

The Spanish need to make it clear by their actions that no one who lands illegally will be allowed to remain, or taken to Spain. Everyone will be repatriated to the African continent, even those without passports -- this ploy must be of no avail.

In the future perhaps it will be possible to board ships that initially refuse to turn back, then tow them back. However commanders should use their judgement about this, and certainly should not risk lives on either side -- however, this is questionable as many of the boats may be first encountered in international waters or in coastal waters where African countries have jurisdiction.

At 12:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

South Africa has got the same problem as the (Canary Islands) European Union. Since 1994, 12 Million illegal African immigrants have flooded the country. The crime has shot up and it is not safe to walk anywhere..

I would like to see what our Europeans friends are going to do with the Canaries Islands problem seeing that they always have a better answer for everything:

Free Mandela :-)


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