By Sami Zaptia.
London, 7 July 2016:
The IOM reports that an estimated 227,316 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 up to 3 July. These reflect those arriving in Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Spain.
So far this year 2,920 deaths have been recorded, compared with 1,838 through the first six months of 2015. Migrant fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2016 are now 1,082 more than last year’s mid-year total. The 383 deaths in June, slightly fewer than 13 per day, were the highest monthly total for June in three years.
In the first three days of July, two landings took place in Italy. Some 352 rescued migrants were brought to Augusta and 349 to Catania, Italy.
19 June – 25 June
26 June – 03 July
|Sum of arrivals||7,774||4,662||-40%|
The main departure country in 2016 has been Libya, followed by Egypt. Most of the rescue operations have occurred in the Channel of Sicily. Rescued migrants and refugees are brought to several ports in Sicily (Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Palermo), Lampedusa, Calabria (Reggio Calabria, Crotone) and Apulia (Taranto).
IOM staff deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups, the report said.
Meanwhile, this contrasts with Greece where a total of only 87 arrivals were recorded in the first three days in July.
The main nationalities of arrival to Italy are Eritrea, Nigeria, Sudan, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Gambia. (during May 2016). Note that Libyans are not listed, reinforcing Libyan official’s statement that the illegal migration problem is not a Libyan problem per se, as Libya is used as a transit route.
Critics say that Libya’s weak state institutions, weak security apparatus, lawlessness and dominant militias encourage this transit.
The main nationalities to Greece: are from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran. (during May 2016) whilst to Bulgaria they are from Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan. (since the start of 2016).
In the Central Mediterranean route, the last report identified 264,014 migrants in 316 locations, mainly in Southern and coastal areas of Libya. Three percent are hosted in detention centers, while the majority take shelter in informal or unofficial settlements.
IOM Niger reported a 10 percent decrease in flows towards Libya through Séguédine since the last reporting period (14 June – 20 June), accounting for 68% of total recorded flows. Nationals from Nigeria, Gambia, Niger and Senegal compose 76% of this outgoing flow, the report says.