(ANSA) – ROME, JUL 16 – Lampedusa’s migrant hotspot was under
heavy pressure on Sunday as the wave of arrivals from North
Africa continued unabated.
Early on Sunday there were 2,116 people at the hotspot, which
has an official capacity of around 400, even though 933 people
were transferred to other parts of Italy on Saturday.
Over 600 migrants are set to be transferred from the island on
two ships later on Sunday.
Italy’s southernmost island is often the destination boats
carrying migrants and refugees from north Africa head for.
On Sunday around 100 people on two boats rescued by EU border
agency Frontex were taken to Lampedusa.
They departed from the Tunisian port of Sfax and originally came
from Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Senegal, Sudan, Burkina
Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Guinea and Mali.
Frontex said Friday that the number of detections of irregular
border crossings in the Central Mediterranean rose to 65,600 in
the first six months of 2023.
The EU border agency said that this was the highest number on
this route for this period of the year since 2017 and was up by
nearly 140% on a year ago.
The Central Mediterranean remains the main migratory route into
the EU, Frontex said.
Also on Friday UNICEF said that at least 289 children are
estimated to have died or disappeared this year attempting to
cross the perilous Central Mediterranean Sea migration route.
The UN agency said this equates to nearly 11 children dying or
disappearing every week.
Furthermore, UNICEF said that it estimates around 1,500 children
have died or gone missing while attempting the Central
Mediterranean Sea crossing since 2018. (ANSA).
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