Sub-Saharan migrants disembark from a rescue vessel on arrival (Image: Jesus Merida/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty)“It has turned the Mediterranean Sea into a graveyard. This shame will remain an indelible stain on Europe’s history.” More than 1,000 migrants and refugees have died in the Mediterranean this year alone, the sixth year running that this “bleak milestone” has been reached, the United Nations said in a statement earlier this month.
Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR said: “The tragedy of the Mediterranean cannot be allowed to continue.” Related articles
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Hungary prepared to use force to protect EU border Another spokesman, Liz Throssell, said that while the number of people attempting to cross the Mediterranean had plummeted from its 2015-2016 peak, the current death toll “points to the fact that the journeys themselves are much more dangerous”.
She added: “It is also worth highlighting that 70 percent of the deaths actually occur on the central Mediterranean, namely people attempting to get from Libya across to Italy or Malta.” More than 18,000 people have died while making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean since 2014, according to figures from the UNHCR and the UN’s International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
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EU migrant crisis: France cannot take in all the misery says Macron The EU is wary of a repeat of the 2015 crisis that created deep divisions among EU nations, strained social and security services and fuelled support for far-right, populist, anti-immigrant and eurosceptic parties.
Well over a million people arrived in the EU in 2015, most of them refugees fleeing war-torn countries like Syria or Iraq, sparking one of the EU’s biggest political crises as member states squabbled over who should take responsibility for them and how much others should be forced to help. While new arrivals are at their lowest level in about seven years, particularly between Libya and Italy, EU countries are still unable to find a way out of the crisis, and hard-right, anti-migrant parties have taken advantage of the indecision.
Trending Germany’s Interior Minister Horst Seehofer told reporters in Luxembourg earlier this month: “If we leave all the countries on the EU’s external border [to fend for themselves], there will never be a common European asylum policy.“And if there is no common European asylum policy, there is a danger that uncontrolled immigration will once again take place throughout Europe.
. “We have seen this before and I do not want it to happen again.”Herr Seehofer’s comments came after Greece and Cyprus sounded the alarm over a summer spike in arrivals from neighbouring.....