17 September 2018

Libya: Over 1 500 Migrants Drown En-Route to Spain

Tripoli — Some 1 586 migrants and refugees have died during attempts to reach Spain via the Mediterranean Sea this year.

The country has this year emerged as the leading destination for the migrants in search of better economic opportunities in Europe.

Spain, with over 43 percent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean through this year, has outpaced Greece and Italy throughout the summer.

Most recently, at least 21 people died or went missing when attempting to reach Spain via the Western Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, over 74 500 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 as of this past weekend. This compares with 128 995 arrivals across the region through the same period last year and 298 663 in 2016.

Ana Dodevska, Spanish spokesperson of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), said in the country, some 32 272 irregular migrants had arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean.

Over 9 000 have arrived since the start of August, at a rate of 217 per day.

Since the beginning of September, irregular migration arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route have been running at a rate of nearly 245 per day.

The route has three crossing points from Libya, which is the main gateway for migrants to Europe.

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