Migrants at the port of Motril, southern Spain, after being rescued by Spanish authorities on February 7, 2020 | Photo:EPA/PEDRO FEIXAS
Migrants at the port of Motril, southern Spain, after being rescued by Spanish authorities on February 7, 2020 | Photo:EPA/PEDRO FEIXAS

The EU agency Frontex reported Wednesday that migrant crossings using central Mediterranean routes doubled between December 2019 and January 2020 to about 1,500.

The number of migrants that crossed the central Mediterranean towards European shores doubled in January 2020 compared with the previous month, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex said Wednesday. 


The number was about 1,500 in January, six times higher than that during the same month of the previous year. 

Frontex said that the growing migration pressure in the central Mediterranean was a countertrend to that seen on the other main routes, where there was a drop compared with the previous month: 58% down in the eastern Mediterranean and a quarter drop in the western part of the sea. 

Eastern Med with the highest crossings 

Despite the drop, eastern Mediterranean routes continue to show the highest number of crossings towards Europe. The total number in January dropped by 58% on the previous month but was still at 3,400. The figure is mostly stable compared with the same month of the previous year. 

The number of migrants that arrived in the EU in January 2020 through on western Mediterranean routes instead dropped by a quarter compared with the previous month, to almost 1,150. 

This figure was 72% less than the same month the previous year. Over 2,000 crossings were recorded in January in the western Balkans via land, less than half the total recorded in December.
 

More articles