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Weary of poverty, Senegalese migrants head for Europe

3:47am IST - 02:08

Senegalese migrants continue to try to head to Europe, weary of poverty and undeterred by the latest drowning of up to 900 people who were trying to reach the continent. Nathan Frandino reports.

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In Senegal's Thiaroye Sur Mer, Moustapha Diouf knows there's little to keep his fellow countrymen home. In a country with rampant youth unemployment, many Senegalese have their compasses pointed north... to Europe. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FOUNDER OF YOUNG REPATRIATED ASSOCIATION, MOUSTAPHA DIOUF, SAYING: "All the people you see here are trying to find someone with a boat to leave. I'm doing everything. I'm doing everything I know ... 2,000, 3,000 people who are prepared to go." Diouf knows this all too well. He fled this impoverished country in 2006, risking his life on a perilous sea crossing only to be repatriated. Upon his return, he founded the Young Repatriated Association to warn young Africans about the dangers of illegal migration. Even with the surge in deaths on recent crossings, his messages fall on deaf ears. Nearly 1,200 Senegalese arrived in Italy between January and March this year. Many leave every day. Diouf says the country needs jobs, but the government isn't providing them. (SOUNDBITE) (French) FOUNDER OF YOUNG REPATRIATED ASSOCIATION, MOUSTAPHA DIOUF, SAYING: "What do they want? That we should just stay here with arms crossed? The state officials with their new homes and 4x4s say we must stay here. The unemployed must stay here. They tell us there are plans to stimulate the economy. What are these plans? Are these plans for us?" Elsewhere, locals grieve for those who've died in the Mediterranean. To some, it's a reminder of the risks. (SOUNDBITE) (Wolof) FISHERMAN, DOUDOU FAYE, SAYING: "Today, if I had the opportunity to go through by legal means, I would leave. But really, with what I've seen these days with the Libyan case in France and all the deaths, the fact is that I'm afraid of the path." The Senegalese government has called on Europe to accept more legal migration, but until that happens some may take the risks on the open sea.

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Weary of poverty, Senegalese migrants head for Europe

3:47am IST - 02:08