Times of Malta reports that there has been a significant reduction in migrants reaching Malta:
- “… Malta has so far this year received the smallest number of immigrants since 2003.
- “Only two boats containing illegal immigrants have landed in Malta in the past four months and not one asylum seeker has arrived on the island this month – compared with 575 in June last year.
- “… UNHCR spokesperson Laura Boldrini [said] ‘It’s difficult to say what is going on, especially since the flow of immigrants in winter persisted. According to what was reported, immigration control is part of the Italy/Libya friendship agreement… It is difficult to establish whether this will last,’…
- “… the promised joint patrols between Italy and Libya have not started, and human trafficking appears to have been stemmed at source.
- “The numbers are drastically down in Lampedusa and Sicily as well …. The number of fatalities has also dropped – around 340 people are believed to have died in the Sicilian channel in the first four months of the year, down from 640 in the same period last year.
- “… [Maltese] Armed Forces’ commander Carmel Vassallo also said he could not explain what had happened. ‘We are still going on with the Frontex patrol operations, but there is a drastic reduction. We are meeting no immigrants at sea.’”
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