Morocco Cuts Irregular Migration Attempts to Spain by 70 in July

Rabat –  Morocco’s help in managing border control and the abortion of irregular migration attempts resulted in a “significant decrease” in the migration pressure on Spanish coasts, reported Spanish news outlet ABC.ABC said that the month of July ended with a significant decrease in irregular migration. Quoting data from the International Organization of Migration, the Spanish news outlet said that security services intercepted 2,362 migrants and at sea compared to 7,885 in the same period in 2018.The number of aborted attempts in July represents a 70% decrease. Data also show a decrease in irregular migration attempts in Ceuta and Melilla. ABC said that 226 people managed to enter Spain through the fences of Ceuta and Melilla, against 1,085 in 2018. ABC added that as of July 25, operations against irregular migration detected reached 24,117 in 2018 against 15,851. The number represents a 34.2% decrease in irregular migration attempts.Read Also: Morocco Arrests Spanish National Suspected of Organizing Irregular MigrationIn March, Spanish Minister of Interior Fernando Grande-Marlaska  said that Morocco’s security services are “leading to a decline in the arrival of migrants to the Spanish coasts.”He added that “coordination with the countries of origin and transit in the fight against these networks has led, since February, to a decline in migrant arrivals that is being confirmed during this month of March.”Like Spain, the Moroccan government has also expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with Spain against organized crimes.Moroccan director of migration at the Ministry of Interior, Khalid Zerouali, explained in July in an interview with El Pais that border control “has helped to ease the migratory pressure, but we must continue to work to strengthen this.”“It is true that on the Spanish side, we feel that the migratory pressure has decreased, but on our side, it continues to increase,” he said, commenting on Morocco’s successful operations to decrease the flow of migrants entering Spain.Spokesperson of the government Mustapha El Khalfi said in May that the decrease reflects the “great” effort of Morocco’s law enforcement forces against the issue of undocumented migration and the trafficking networks active in this area.He added that the statistics “testify to the considerable efforts” made by Morocco to combat irregular migration networks, especially those active on the Morocco-Spain axis. read more

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Mediterranean death toll in 2016 worst we have seen – UN refugee

“From one death for every 269 arrivals last year, in 2016 the likelihood of dying has spiralled to one in 88,” William Spindler, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told journalists at the regular news briefing at the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG).“On the Central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy the likelihood of dying is even higher, at one death for every 47 arrivals,” he added.The grim ratio for this route has worsened by more than 5.7-times.“This is the worst we have seen,” expressed the UNHCR spokesperson.According to the agency, at least 3,740 lives are reported lost between January and October 2016 – just short of the 3,771 deaths reported for the whole of 2015. This high loss of life comes despite a large overall fall this year in the number of people seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.Last year at least 1,015,078 people made the crossing. This year so far, crossings stand at 327,800. “About half those who have crossed the Mediterranean so far this year have travelled from North Africa to Italy – a known more perilous route,” said Mr. Spindler explaining one of the causes behind the rise.He further said that other causes include people smugglers using lower-quality “vessels” – no more than flimsy inflatable rafts that often do not last the journey; and the changing tactics of smugglers, with mass embarkations of thousands of people at a time. Such changes could be used to lower detecting risks but also make the work of rescuers much more difficult, according to UNHCR. Against this bleak backdrop, the UN agency urged all countries to do more, calling for, among others, greater and urgent attention to means such as enhanced resettlement and humanitarian admissions, family reunification, private sponsorship, and humanitarian, student and work visas for refugees. UNHCR official also underscored that the high death rate is a reminder of the importance of continuing and robust search and rescue capacities – without which the fatality rates would almost certainly be higher. read more

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