Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2024

Italian island ‘overwhelmed’ after 1,500 migrants arrive in just one day | World | News

Italian officials have revealed that in a day and a half more than 1,500 migrants reached Lampedusa island, with 333 arriving on Friday morning alone. 

The president of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, was scheduled to meet Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday in Athens to discuss “the exceptionally difficult situation” surrounding the recent surge in migrants to his country and the other states in the region. 

Christodoulides is visiting Lebanon on Monday to address the same issue. According to official data from Cyprus, more than 800 migrants have arrived in less than a week (March 31 – April 5), with most coming from Lebanon. 

On Friday, the Lebanese Interior Ministry issued a statement refusing to “take back” those that had crossed, pointing to the strain of hosting over two million Syrian refugees within its own borders. 

Previously, Cyprus and Lebanon had an informal arrangement regarding illegal migration challenges.

The increasing influx of migrants to Lampedusa has raised concerns among local officials, with hundreds arriving daily and overwhelming the island’s facilities, despite regular transfers to other processing centres in Italy.

Lampedusa, which has borne the brunt of the European migration crisis for years, is at breaking point, according to migration experts.

More than 11,000 migrants arrived on the tiny island between September 12 and 15, 2023.

Previously, overcrowding in the camp, known as the ‘hotspot,’ has sparked tensions between migrants and police.

In September 2022 local police clashed with migrants after they tried to scale the camp’s perimeter fences in an attempt to flee.

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