Illegal sea crossings into Europe surge


Libyan Coast Guard

from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
Libya Bureau
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News)ILLEGAL border crossings at the European Union’s external borders have more than doubled over the past year.

This as African refugees and migrants in search of better opportunities continue to risk drowning and violations by unscrupulous agents.

Crossings in the first two months of 2022 rose 61 percent from a year ago to nearly 27 000, according to preliminary calculations.

In the month of February, there were 11 850 detections of illegal border crossings, about a quarter more than in the same month of 2021.

Significant increases of illegal crossings were recorded in the various routes linking Africa to Europe.

The Western African Route, which leads to Spain’s Canary Islands, saw an increase of 131 percent.

More than 5 400 illegal crossings have been detected so far this year.

Moroccans accounted for more than half of the arrivals on this route, followed by nationals of Guinea and Senegal.

There was an increase of 138 percent in the Eastern Mediterranean route where crossings doubled to 3 500.

Nationals of Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria and Bangladesh accounted for most of the detections on this route.

The Western Mediterranean Route registered a rise of 8 percent to less than 1 800 illegal crossings.

Algerians and Moroccans accounted for nearly all of the migrants registered on this route.

Meanwhile, the Central Mediterranean Route saw a 12-percent drop in the number of illegal crossings in the first two months of the year to 4 500.

The main nationalities on this route were Bangladeshi, Egyptian and Tunisian

Libya is the gateway to Europe for most refugees and migrants seeking to travel to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.

– CAJ News


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