Frontex: 87% drop in migrants from Libya
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex) announced a decline in the number of irregular migrants last year via the Mediterranean route towards Italy, 80% compared to 2017.
According to data released by Frontex on Wednesday, the year 2018 saw the arrival of 27,276 migrants, compared to 118,962 in 2017, the lowest level seen since 2012.
The number of migrants originating from Libya’s shores last year fell by 87% compared to 2017, while those from Algeria declined by almost half. The size of the departure from Tunisia remained almost unchanged.
The number of immigrants who arrived in the European Union via this route amounted to 23,300 migrants. Libya is a major transit point to Europe for those fleeing poverty and civil war elsewhere in Africa.
In February 2017 the Interior minister Marco Minniti signed a memorandum with the head of the UN-recognised government, Fayez al-Serraj, introducing a new level of cooperation between the coastguard and the Italians, including the provision of four patrol vessels.