|The Spanish north African coastal exclave of Melilla off north-east Morocco. Credit: Melilla Turismo|
Over 1,000 African migrants from the Sub-Saharan
have tried to enter Spain since Monday this week and have been picked up from
boats in the Strait of Gibraltar.
The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency,
says that more than 75,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy, Greece, Spain
and Malta by sea in the first half of 2014 - - 25% more than the 60,000 who made
the same journey in the whole of 2013, and over three times the 22,500 who
arrived in all of 2012.
Italy received the greatest number of arrivals (63,884), followed by Greece
(10,080), Spain (1,000) and Malta (227). A further 21,000 refugees and migrants
have arrived in Italy by July 24. The largest numbers came from Eritrea, Syria
and Mali. Most left from North Africa, and principally Libya.
This included 10,563 children, 3,676 from Syria, who arrived in Italy in the
first six months of 2014. 6,500 of the children, mostly Eritreans, were
unaccompanied or separated from their families.
El País, the leading Spanish daily newspaper,
says that the migrants were taken to a municipal sports centre in Tariff, Cadiz
Good weather has led to a rise in the number of
people trying to reach Spain illegally across the Mediterranean in small
Meanwhile, around 700 sub-Saharan migrants
attempted to cross the border fence from Morocco into the Spanish north African
exclave of Melilla on Tuesday morning. Around 20 were successful and made their
way to the local CETI (Centre for Temporary Stay of Immigrants) chanting “Bosa,
Bosa,” the victory cry often used by migrants who manage to make it onto Spanish