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Eritrean and Sudanese migrants continue to arrive in Italy with new records

Undated picture for East African migrants rescued by the charity group Migrant Offshore Aid Station (Photo MOAS)
May 20, 2018 (KHARTOUM) - Eritrean and Sudanese migrants and refugees were the second and the fourth in number of refugees and migrants arriving in Italy by sea during the first five months of 2018, said the UN migration agency.

In its latest report about the arrival of illegal migrants and refugees into Europe released last Friday, the IOM said 26,026 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 136 days of 2018. Only 41% of them arrived through Italy.

Among the 10,659 migrants who are registered in Italy, "Tunisians represent the largest nationality group arriving in Italy by sea from North Africa this year, followed by Eritreans, Nigerians, Sudanese, Pakistan, Malians, Guineans and Senegalese," said the IOM.

Based on the figures provided by the Italian interior ministry, the report said the number of Tunisian reached 1910 people, 1810 Eritreans and 536 Sudanese nationals.

The Sudanese government says it has largely contributed to halting the human trafficking of Eritrean and Ethiopian nationals who cross Sudan to Libya before to embark for Europe.

However, if we add the number of Eritrean and Sudanese we realise that Sudan continues to be the first source of migrants to Europe with a total of 2346 persons.

IOM pointed that the arrival by sea to Italy at this point in 2018 is 77% less than the reported last year in the same period. At the time, the number of migrants reached 45,785 irregular migrants.

However, compared to the previous years the reduction results from the decrease of migrants from western African countries and Bangladesh. The latter arrived by plane to Libya and then crossed to Europe.

The report also said that 383 drowning cases "on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy" have been registered this year, making it the deadliest sea crossing road in the Mediterranean compared to Greece or Spain.

(ST)