Wednesday, 23 August, 2017

Migrant sea arrivals from Africa rising in Spain

New arrivals A video filmed by a witness show the dinghy pulling into shallow water at Cadiz New arrivals A video filmed by a witness show the dinghy pulling into shallow water at Cadiz
Bessie Robbins | 13 August, 2017, 00:34

The IOM say 11,849 people have arrived in Spain so far this year, compared with 13,246 in all of last year.

Arrivals have doubled in a year, according to the Spanish Red Cross that spoke about 7,400 people, including those who arrived by sea, who entered in the first six months of 2017, against the 3,600 reported in the same period in 2016.

Three times as many migrants have arrived so far in 2017 as the amount who had arrived in the same period a year ago.

Faced with the danger, some may be deciding to go up along the coast instead.

In Libya there 'appears to be a very deliberate strategy to put people out there, in overloaded boats that begin to take on water nearly immediately and then it's a race to see how quickly the people on the boat can summon aid, ' he said.

It comes as Spain announced it was closing its border on Ceuta after a policeman broke his thigh bone when more than 200 migrants stormed into Spain earlier this week.

Similar footage shows migrants celebrating after crossing the border into Ceuta. The passengers, mostly from Morocco and neighboring Algeria, were looking for a better life in Europe and using Spain as a doorway.

The group had hidden in bumper cars and the ghost train loaded on lorries which were due to leave Ceuta for mainland Spain a after an annual festival.

All of the migrants - about 700 - were repelled by the Moroccan and Spanish authorities.

Faced with the number of recent entry attempts, authorities in Ceuta have made a decision to close the border for trade for over a week, to allow guards to better man the fence.

The migrants either make it to the Spanish coast or are intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by Spain's marine rescue service and then taken ashore.

Since eight of the top 10 African countries where migrants live before they look to Libya as a jumping off point are located in western Africa, heading north to Morocco and trying for Spain could be cheaper, easier and safer, he said.

The teenagers will be taken to migrant reception centres, where they can apply for asylum in Spain.

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