France hosts summit on migrant crisis with African leaders
French President Emmanuel Macron, according to feeds from BBC, ‘is hosting a summit with several European and African leaders aimed at boosting efforts to curb migrant flows across the Mediterranean.’ BBC News report that ‘the Paris talks involve leaders from Chad, Niger and Libya – major transit countries for migrants, who risk their lives trying to reach Europe.’
The aim of this is to ease the influx, where asylum requests can be handled better in Africa. The French president mentioned setting up “hotspots” in Chad, Niger and Libya to process asylum applications. But the BBC’s Hugh Schofield in Paris says Libya’s chronic instability would be a major obstacle to such centres operating there.
The report further disclosed that nearly 100,000 migrants have made the perilous sea journey from Libya to Italy this year, and the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) says more than 2,000 have died on that route.
A statement showed that in July, the number crossing to Italy dropped by 57% compared with June. On this, officials say, because Italy has tightened co-operation with Libyan security forces.
However, BBC News report that, in 2015, the EU pledged €1.8bn (£1.6bn; $2.1bn) for initiatives to help African countries stem the flow of migrants to Europe. Then, “the plans include beefing up border surveillance along migrant routes and schemes to create jobs for impoverished communities.”
The report established that ‘most of the migrants are West Africans –with Nigeria, Guinea and Ivory Coast the top countries of origin.’ BBC adds that German Chancellor Angela Merkel will also attend the summit, as will Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy and Spain’s Mariano Rajoy.