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islands canary dw refugee news latest become crisis migration hotspot

Canary Islands become migration crisis' latest refugee hotspot | DW News
While the struggle continues for a European solution for the migrants on Lesbos, the next refugee drama is unfolding at another European external border, the Canary Islands. More than 4,000 African migrants have arrived on Spain's Canary Islands since the beginning of the year. Many of them are fleeing the deteriorating security situation in the Sahel with boats departing from Morocco and the territory of Western Sahara. They're also departing  hundreds of kilometres farther south from Mauritaina and Senegal.


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(17-09-2020, 08:09 PM)Ray Wrote: ... More than 4,000 African migrants have arrived on Spain's Canary Islands since the beginning of the year...

The figure is way over 5,000 already.
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More than 1,000 migrants from Africa have arrived in the Spanish Canary Islands over the last 48 hours, the Red Cross says.

These are figures that have not been seen for more than a decade.

On a visit to the islands, Spain's Migration Minister José Luis Escrivá promised a "comprehensive response".

This route from West Africa has grown in popularity since 2018. A previous peak, in 2006, saw 35,000 migrants arrive in the archipelago, the UN says.

Many of the migrants would have set sail from Senegal, more than 1,600km (1,000 miles) away, where this week two boats carrying 186 people were intercepted by Senegalese marines, the AFP news agency reported quoting a military statement.

The passengers were reported to have been from Senegal and The Gambia.

The migrants who arrived in the Canary Islands since Thursday were rescued from 37 boats, Spanish news agency EFE reports.

Many are being looked after by the Spanish Red Cross in camps near where they disembarked.

A Red Cross spokesman told AFP that barring a few mild cases of hypothermia, all were in good health and had been tested for Coronavirus.

Mr Escrivá has been on a trip to three of the archipelago's main islands - Tenerife, Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria - to see the situation for himself.

But he was criticised by local council leader Blas Acosta for not offering any solutions to how the migrants should be housed, El Mundo newspaper reports.

Between January and the end of July this year, 3,269 migrants made the crossing from West Africa to the Canary Islands, which is nearly a 600% increase on the same period in 2019, the UN's International Organization for Migration (IOM) says.

This year so far, more than 250 people have died trying to reach the islands, the IOM adds.

Thanks Perrypower1 for the link in another thread.

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Yikes.. like COVID-19 wasn't bad enough for the canaries..
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(11-10-2020, 04:30 PM)trex Wrote: Yikes.. like covid-19 wasn't bad enough for the canaries..

Due to COVID, the immigrants can't leave the islands, making the situation even worse. Local economy can't sustain too many refugees and I'm sure the refugees aren't that happy about being held here, feeling uncertain about their future neither. The current situation looks pretty much like "Lose-lose" for everyone involved.

Mainland gov seems to be ignoring the issue too:
Quote:The President of the Island Council of Fuerteventura, Blas Acosta, describes as disappointing the meeting held with the Minister of Migration, José Luis Escrivá, after the latter's rudeness without offering any concrete solution to the problems raised for months by the Corporation.

Blas Acosta has underlined that the proposals and the forms of the minister during the meeting are "an absolute lack of respect" for the Island Corporation and the island of Fuerteventura as a whole, especially in these special circumstances that require more responsibility and sensitivity from us and understanding of problems.

According to sources consulted, the minister, when asked about the solutions he brought to the problem in the archipelago, has not been able to provide effective answers. In this sense, when "effective solutions" were demanded by the Island Council and the authorities asked "what he had come to" he has chosen to get up with his entourage and withdraw from the meeting.
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It's sad all round,,

It's sad for us,, we book our 2 weeks hols,, or fly over to our second homes to get away from all the ***** that goes on where we live at home,, now we have to deal with it at our happy place.

It's sad for the canarian people who now have their services and first responders swamped..

And It's sad to see people so desperate that they set sail on rafts, to find a better life.

There are no winners here.
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8,102 refugees arrived on Canary Islands since the beginning of the year.
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The president of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, received this Tuesday at the headquarters of the Presidency in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria the general director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, with whom he has addressed the current situation of migration in the Canary Islands already which has transferred the contacts that he has maintained last weekend with President Pedro Sánchez, with Vice President Carmen Calvo, with the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles, with the top officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with the Minister of Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, with whom you spoke today.

The president made reference to the latest information released on the steps being taken by the Ministry of the Interior to finalize a space in Gran Canaria to make available to people who are at the Arguineguín dock during the first 72 hours before being distributed to the host places. "In addition," he stressed, "two military spaces have been requested in Gran Canaria, for which the requirements and formal requests are being finalized, which also serve as a space in which to house the people who arrive."

The president also announced that he has summoned the Moroccan consul to hold a meeting tomorrow in which they will address the verified increase in the arrival of people from the Maghreb. "In the first arrivals they came mainly from Mali and Senegal, which continues to be maintained, but with a greater percentage presence of Maghrebis", he added.

On the other hand, Ángel Víctor Torres announced that in the Conference of Autonomous Presidents and Presidents with Pedro Sánchez that will take place next Monday the 26th and in which the president of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, will also participate, he will focus his intervention on European funds and their distribution, and on irregular immigration and its responses. “I will transfer that European solidarity cannot be put into words. We are facing globalized circumstances that require a response in accordance with the circumstances that border territories are currently suffering, and I will also appeal to the responsibility and inter-territorial solidarity of our country ”, he advanced.

The chief executive told the general director that the current circumstances are similar to that of the massive arrival of migrants to the Canary Islands in 2006, "although they are not the same," he added. He assured that at that time there was also an important arrival of thousands of people, which generated a situation that took time to resolve, "which also gave dramatic images, and some shameful ones, in which there were also political attacks between institutions and between parties," he recalled. , at the same time that he again demanded that this partisan struggle be left aside.

Although he insisted that, unlike what happened then, to the reasons that motivate the flight from their countries such as hunger or wars, the climate crisis that affects Africa and the pandemic is now added, which forces them to close airspaces. that prevents repatriation, or the closure of land borders that has led to the reopening of new routes as has happened in the Canary Islands. "The circumstances are more complicated now," he added.

Ángel Víctor Torres wished María Gámez luck, who acceded to the position at the beginning of the year, becoming the first woman to hold that position, which is why “she becomes a symbol of something that has to be normal, such as equality in the access to any public responsibility ”, he added. He also thanked the professional work of the Civil Guard at the service of the citizens of the Canary Islands in different recent vicissitudes, especially in the last fires in La Palma and Gran Canaria, and in the face of the migratory phenomenon with surveillance in the waters.
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So far, 11,261 migrants have arrived on Canary Islands in 415 boats since the beginning of this year.

Yesterday was also the first day in October without any new refugees.
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BBC News:
More than 1,600 African migrants have been rescued at sea or reached Spain's Canary Islands over the weekend, Spanish emergency services said.
About 1,000 arrived on Saturday alone, setting out on about 20 barely seaworthy boats.
One person was flown to hospital by helicopter.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of migrants from West Africa attempting to reach the Canary Islands in recent months.
The island chain is just 100km (60 miles) off the coast of North Africa. According to the Spanish government, more than 11,000 arrivals have been recorded in the Canary Islands this year compared with 2,557 during the same period last year.
A spokeswoman for Canary services told AFP news agency the migrants had arrived on the islands of Gran Canaria, Tenerife and El Hierro. 
The body of one person who died during the perilous journey was recovered by rescuers on El Hierro, the spokeswoman said. 
Last month at least 140 migrants bound for Europe drowned after a boat carrying around 200 people sank off the coast of Senegal.
The boat caught fire and capsized shortly after leaving the town of Mbour, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.
About 60 people were rescued, according to reports.
It is believed the migrants were attempting to reach mainland Europe via the Canary Islands.
At least 414 people are known to have died along this route so far this year according to the IOM. A total of 210 fatalities were recorded on the same stretch in the whole of 2019.
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