Egyptian navy stops boat of African refugees, arrests 153 people

Published August 15th, 2016 - 03:00 GMT
A file photo of a boat smuggling African refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. (AFP/File)
A file photo of a boat smuggling African refugees in the Mediterranean Sea. (AFP/File)

The army’s naval forces arrested 146 illegal migrants and seven boat crew members near the North Coast on Saturday.

The migrants were from Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Comoros.

The naval forces were on an inspection mission when they saw the boat and became suspicious, military spokesperson Mohamed Samir said in a statement.

The migrants and crew were given the needed medical treatment and then referred to “specialised authorities” for legal procedures.

Another migration boat was stopped by naval forces in mid-July, carrying a total of 143 individuals from Egypt, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Eritrea, Somalia, and Ethiopia.

Recently, the Mediterranean Sea has become a gateway to Europe for an increasing number of refugees from the Middle East and Africa, who attempt to flee in large numbers on small, ill-equipped boats.

In March, a boat capsized near the Mediterranean coast of the Nile Delta governorate of Kafr El-Sheikh. Only nine bodies were recovered, two of them identified, while the rest are still missing.

A study by the Regional Centre for Strategic Studies (RCSS) in May 2015 stated: “It is important to note that a larger percentage of Egyptian illegal immigrants come from poorer provinces,” especially Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, and Assiut. This further confirms the link between increased poverty rates and illegal immigration.

By Menan Khater

© 2019 Daily News Egypt.

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