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FRONTEX: Nearly 160,000 Illegal Border Crossing Detected at EU External Borders in 2021

The migratory situation in the EU external borders remains concerning as the number of illegal border crossings has surged by almost 70 per cent throughout 2021, the EU agency border, Frontex, has revealed.

According to the same, there were 22,800 illegal border crossings registered on Eastern, Western Balkan and Central Mediterranean routes as well as in Cyprus. On the other hand, the number of detections dropped in the Western Mediterranean, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In comparison to 2020, the number of illegal passages had increased by 30 per cent during this October and 18 per cent compared to the corresponding period in 2019, when no entry restrictions were imposed.

Eastern Border – Most Affected Illegal Migratory Route for 2021 Due to Belarus Politics

According to Frontex preliminary data, the Eastern border has been the most affected by the migration flow, with almost 8,000 illegal border crossings, about fifteen times more than in 2021, especially due to the migration flow in and through Belarus.

Although the number of illegal passages dropped from 3,200 (marked in only one day) in July to 600 in October, the enhanced border control in the neighbouring countries has prevented the large flux of migrants in the EU member states. The majority of migrants came from Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.

48,500 Illegal Border Crossings Registered in Western Balkan Route in 2021

More than 9,000 border crossings were noted in the route only in October, marking a 140 per cent increase compared with 2020, when 3,816 illegalities were detected.

Furthermore, the difference is even more evident compared to 2019, when only 1,003 border crossings were detected, 810 per cent less than in 2021, making the route responsible for 40 per cent of EU’s migration for October. Most migrants on this route came from Syria, Afghanistan and Morocco.

Central, Western & Eastern Mediterranean Routes Account for Over 37,000 Irregular Migrants for This Year

During the first ten months of 2021, 55,000 illegal border crossings have been registered in the Central Mediterranean route, with 6,420 of those being reported in October alone – 85 per cent more than in 2020 and 186 per cent more than in 2019.

A significant increase of migrants, believed to arrive from Turkey by sea, has been noted in Italy. The main nationalities reaching the EU throughout this route are Tunisians, Bangladeshi and Egyptians, with the latter becoming the third main migratory nationality of this route, reported mainly from Libya.

However, the number of illegal passages is less evident in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean route, as in the latter, 42 per cent fewer illegalities (1,614) were registered compared to 2020. In general, 16,390 irregular migrants were noted in the Western Mediterranean route, 14 per cent more than in 2020 and 23 per cent less than in 2019. Algerians make up for more than half (63 per cent) of illegal crossings on this route, followed by Moroccans (29 per cent).

Furthermore, in the Eastern Mediterranean route, 15,770 illegal crossings were detected, 11 per cent less than in 2020 and 76 per cent more compared to 2019. Data for October shows 2,585 illegal crossings – a 40 per cent increase compared to last year’s same month. Most migrants on this route came from Syria, Turkey and Congo (Kinshasa).

Western African Migratory Route Marks 1020% Increase Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Illegal passages increased by 46 per cent in the Western African route, counting 16,710 illegalities. The same surged by 1020 per cent compared to 2019 and 34 per cent less compared to 2020.

This October, 3,515 illegalities in this route were noted, with most migrants coming from Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa. 

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