UK Royal Air Force sends aircraft to monitor migrant crossings

by Abdulmumeen S. Yitta

Britain’s Royal Air Force in response to the increasing number of immigrant crossing from France, on Wednesday August 12, 2020, sent a maritime patrol aircraft as a support to border control operations in the English Channel.

In recent weeks, hundreds of migrants have crossed the Dover Straits, taking advantage of calm sea conditions and hot weather. Most of them traveled in rubber dinghies filled up to the edge.

While detailing the mission of the aircraft, the Ministry of Defense said in a statement, “The aircraft will track vessels and pass information to the Border Force who will then take any appropriate further action.”

The ministry added that the aircraft was a replacement of the earlier one which was assigned the same task in the past few days.

The aircraft was in response to the interior ministry’s request urging the armed forces to deal with the endless number of migrant boats arriving on the English shore.

In an attempt to put a stop to boats arriving its shore, British government has mounted pressure on France to respond to the situation and stop boats from setting off towards England.

France has in response said that it has started to intercept boats especially those carrying migrants.

Similarly, in a concerted effort to end influx of migrant’s boats towards England, the two countries disclosed on Tuesday that they had agreed to work together and finalize a plan to shut down the channel route.

Since the start of this year, about 4,000 people are said to have arrived the shore of England, and many of them entered the European Union through Italy, Malta, Greece and Spain after crossing the dangerous Mediterranean Sea.

In response to the British government move to stop migrant influx on the English shore, Refugee rights groups said that impact of the crossings is being exaggerated. They added that the numbers of people crossing to England are small when compared to other countries in the world.

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