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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Gambia’s ‘back-way’ figures drop

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The number of Gambian migrants trying to reach Europe through the Mediterranean sea has dropped, according to a recent report from the International Organisation for Migration.

According to the report arrivals from The Gambia, Eritrea, Sudan are down from 2016 – despite the fact that overall arrivals to Italy by sea have risen – while those from Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, Mali and Guinea are all up.  This development will come as good news to campaigners against the so- called Back-way, which has resulted in the death of many Gambian youths over the past five years.

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The figure according to the IOM is also a reflection of the general reduction of the number of migrants arriving Italy. It says some 77,004 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 14 June, with almost 85 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 214,427 arrivals across the region through 14 June 2016.

Christine Petré, IOM Libya, reported on 13 June that the Libyan Red Crescent retrieved four bodies west of Azzawya while on the same day one body was recovered in Subratah.

So far this year, 251 bodies have been retrieved from the Libyan shores, not including three bodies IOM Libya has received information about on 15 June, which the Libyan Red Crescent were collecting from the area west of Tripoli known as Janzour. So far this year 9,111 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters while the total of deaths for 2017 stands at 1,828 deaths.

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