- Four people and an eight year old girl have drowned after a boat carrying illegal migrants from Morocco capsized in rough seas just off Spain's Canary Islands. More than a dozen is reported still missing.
Spanish officials said the boat overturned on Sunday evening very close to Lanzarote's shores. "Several island residents dived into the water and managed to save six of the migrants with the help of others in small boats," official statement said.
The officials said the survivors were clinging to the sinking boat and screaming, stating that most of the migrants appeared to be between the ages of 25 and 35.
Rescue helicopters have been scouring for any other survivors, but police said hopes were fading fast.
Thousands of people seeking a better life in Europe brave the rough seas from Africa to the Canary Islands or the Spanish mainland in overcrowded boats. Most are caught and hundreds die along the way.
But increased surveillance has meant the number of migrants reaching the Canary Islands has dropped from almost 32,000 in 2006 to about 9,000 in 2008.
Police say African migrants pay on average £1,000 to trafficking gangs to reach the Moroccan coast. However, many are now being turned back following increased surveillance of African coastal waters by local and European vessels.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.