42,000 Africans made move for Europe in 2021, 761 dead — IOM

Posted by News Express | 12 July 2021 | 799 times

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The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said more than 42,761 people from sub-Saharan Africa have moved to Europe via the central Mediterranean route.

IOM Chief of Mission, Frantz Celestine, said that of these, 29,000 have crossed European coasts.

Celestine, who spoke in an interview in Abuja on Sunday, said 13,000 people were returned by the Libyan coast guard, while 761 people lost their lives when attempting to cross.

He stressed, however, that this number did not take into account the thousands of people arrested and held in detention centers.

 “We have seen an increasing number of people migrate due to economic pressure. We have seen a high level compared to 2020, of people turned back by the Libyan coast guard.atrk We have seen more and more people die at sea.

“This year, so far, more than 29,000 people have reached European coasts via the central Mediterranean route. They’ve made it to the shores, whether successful or not, that’s what you see, if getting a foot on the shores is defined as success, then yes, we’ve had over 29,000 people coming along.

“The tragic side, a person who dies crossing is one too many. But what we’ve seen so far is that 761 people have died in the process, and there are thousands and thousands of people who did not survive, people who are currently in detention.

“I think there are 13,000 who have been captured and returned by the Libyan Coast Guard. These figures are for May 30. So for all of those who did, we have seen an increasing number of people being fired. In fact, the number of them that have been returned is higher than what we saw in 2020. We expect more and more people to be in this condition over time,” he said.

Celestin pointed out that there were a lot of push factors forcing people to embark on the journey regardless of its inherent dangers. He stressed that the focus should be on efforts to alleviate the number of people migrating as well as the level of suffering in this process.

He said it’s not going to stop unless the drivers are removed or mitigated, and those drivers are hardship, conflict, disaster and the fact that we have more people looking for a employment and many underemployed people. “So the combination of unemployment and underemployment will definitely push people forward. You can tell them as much as you want, but if you can’t find something to hold them in place, they will migrate,” he said.


Source: News Express

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