UN urges Europe to help with migrants
year, 83,650 people have reached Italy by sea, an increase of nearly 20 percent compared to the same period last year, UN figures show.
Nearly all of Italy’s 200,000 places for accommodating migrants have been filled.
Many of the migrants need healthcare and support, with a large percentage of them nonaccompanied children and victims of sexual violence, says the UN.
The number of migrant children arriving on their own rose two-fold between 2015 and 2016, reaching 25,846 at the end of last year.
Violence in Calais
Europe has been grappling with the worst migration crisis since the end of World War II with an influx of people fleeing the wars in Syria and Iraq while others from Africa are seeking an escape from poverty or political persecution.
And there continue to be flare-ups of violence sparked by the tensions among the migrants and refugees gathered in Western Europe. Nearly 500,000 Syrian refugees return home in 2017: UN
UNITED NATIONS — The UN refugee agency said that more than 440,000 internally displaced people and more than 31,000 Syrian refugees overseas have returned to their homes in Syria so far this year, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees noted that due to spontaneous returns of refugees to and within Syria, it has started scaling up its operational capacity inside the country, said Dujarric.
Since 2015, some 260,000 refugees have returned to Syria, primarily from Turkey, according to the UNHCR.
The Syrian war, now into its seventh year, has taken a toll on the country’s population with hundreds of thousands being killed, around 6.3 million being displaced within the country, and 5.1 million being forced to flee as refugees outside its borders.
Over the past months, the situation is particularly dire in Raqqa, where an offensive was launched to take the city from the Islamic State group. Around 25,000 have reportedly fled the city since military operations started, however as many as 100,000 civilians could still be trapped there.
In the northern French port city of Calais, riot police stepped in over the past two days to break up fighting among African migrants armed with sticks and rocks.
Fighting between Eritreans against Ethiopians on Saturday left 16 people injured, with police making 10 arrests.
That followed brawls on Friday night when security forces used tear gas to disperse the feuding sides, Calais Mayor Philippe Mignonet said.
“In the past 12 hours, in terms of violence, there’s been an escalation,” he told AFP.
Calais has for years been a magnet for migrants and refugees hoping to cross the Channel to Britain.
Last October, France broke up the notorious tent camp known as “the Jungle” transferring thousands of migrants to centers around the country.
But hundreds remain near the port, mostly Africans and Afghans, who clash sporadically with police as they make nightly attempts to stow away onto trucks heading across the Channel to Britain.
Last month, a Polish driver was killed when his truck burst into flames after hitting a roadblock set up by migrants hoping to slow the traffic to make it easier to jump onto vehicles.