Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Fourfold Increase in Illegal Border Crossings at EU External Borders in April

More than 7,800 persons attempted to reach Europe through its external borders in an unlawful way in April, marking a fourfold increase compared to the record low figures registered the same month last year, the European Union Protection Border Agency (Frontex) has announced in its recent report.

According to the announcement, a total of 36,100 persons attempted to enter Europe illegally in the first four months of 2021, or about a third higher compared to the statistics of the same period last year when irregular migration marked a profound decrease due to the spread of the Coronavirus outbreak and its new strains, reports.

Over 1,000 illegal border crossings have been detected in Western Africa, concretely in the Canary Islands, in April. Such figures mark a three times increase in the Atlantic Ocean route compared to the statistics registered the same month last year.

About 4,500 persons reached the Canary Islands, from January 2021, until April 2021, more than double the total number from the same period one year earlier.

Nationals of sub-Saharan countries, especially from Mali and Morocco, have been detected the most in this route.

In April, illegal border crossings’ number was nearly double higher for arrivals in the Central Mediterranean route as well, compared to April last year figures. Based on Frontex’s report, about 1,550 persons were caught trying to reach European countries by heading in this direction.

In the first four months of this year, the number of illegal border crossings in the Central Mediterranean route more than doubled to a total of 11,600, compared to figures of the same period last year.

Between January and April of this year, the total number of illegal crossings on this route more-than-doubled to 11,600.

Tunisians and citizens of Ivory Coast accounted for the most significant number of arrivals on this migratory route.

A total of 70 per cent increase was marked in the number of unlawful border crossings in the Western Mediterranean route in April, or 300 detections, compared to April 2020 figures.

The total for the first four months of 2021 stood at over 3 200, or five per cent more than in the same period in the previous year. Algerians accounted for three of every four detections on this route this year, while Moroccans made up most of the remaining arrivals,” the statement clarifies.

As for the Eastern Mediterranean route, there were detected about 1,850 illegal border crossings in April, marking a 12-fold increase from the same month one year ago.

From January until April, the total number of detections in this route declined by 58 per cent to about 4,800. Citizens of Turkey and Syria were detected the most on this route.

A total of 3,100 detections of illegal border crossings were registered on the Western Balkan route in April, or a 33-fold increase compared to record low figures of the same period last year.

“In the first four months of this year, 11,600 migrants were detected at the EU’s border with the Western Balkan countries, nearly double the total from the same period of 2020. The two main detected nationalities were Syrians and Afghans,” the statement clarifies.

Even though the third wave of the Coronavirus pandemic continues to affect countries worldwide, the number of illegal border crossings detected in Europe’s external border gradually started to increase in the first months of this year.

According to the previous report of the Frontex, a total of 5,700 persons attempted to cross Europe’s external borders in an unlawful way in March, or more than twice compared to March last year.

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