SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

June 2023 Press Review

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Belarus art festival could renew pressure on Poland’s border.

Reuters, 01 June 2023

A visa waiver for participants of an art festival in Belarus in July could serve as a gateway for migrants and renew pressure on Poland's eastern border, a senior Polish security official said on Thursday.

Poland has been a refuge for opponents of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, and has become one of Kyiv's staunchest supporters since Belarus' main ally Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. It has also accused Belarus of artificially creating a migrant crisis on the border by flying in people from the Middle East and Africa and attempting to push them across the frontier.

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Child migrants crossing Darien Gap surge eightfold.

Elida Moreno (Reuters), 31 May 2023

The number of child migrants crossing a dangerous stretch of jungle dividing Colombia and Panama has rapidly increased during the first four months of this year, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday.

The thick jungle terrain of the Darien Gap, which is also home to roving bands of criminals, has become a key transit point for thousands of mostly U.S.-bound migrants setting out in search of better lives from South America.

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Mexican officials find 175 migrants in truck near southern border.

Reuters, 27 May 2023

Mexican authorities found 175 migrants, mostly from Guatemala, crowded into a truck trailer in the southern state of Chiapas, the National Migration Institute (INM) said on Friday, in the latest mass human smuggling incident to be detected in the country.

Immigration agents heard yells and banging coming from inside the vehicle when it was stopped at a checkpoint in Chiapas, INM said in a statement. Although the driver refused to open the truck's back door, the faces of migrants could be seen through vents in the compartment, INM said.

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Hundreds of Sudanese migrants stuck at border with Egypt

Redaction Africanews, 25 May 2023

From the scorching summer heat to war profiteers and bureaucratic foot-dragging, Sudanese fleeing battles at home have encountered many obstacles -- but also help from strangers -- on the long road to safety in Egypt.

Among the hundreds of refugee families waiting at the border, some had no passports.

Others would not go further until their husband, brother or son was granted a visa -- which women and children are exempt from.

One woman was "sleeping sometimes on the ground, sometimes on a bus" for several days, she told AFP, waiting for her cousin to be issued a visa by the Egyptian consulate in the border city of Wadi Halfa.

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Anti-migration operation in Mayotte stirs tensions, exposes inequalities

Redaction Africanews, 19 May 2023

Nearly one month since the start of operation Wuambushu in Mayotte, tension remains high on the island. France’s government has sent 2,000 troops and police to carry out mass expulsions, destroy slums and eradicate violent gangs.

Just as the police contingent arrived from mainland France, a court blocked expulsion, and neighbouring Comoros at first, refused to welcome the migrants back.

The operation has raised concerns of abuse, aggravating tensions between local residents and immigrants from the Union of the Comoros.

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Tunisia: arrest of a major smuggler in Sfax

Redaction Africanews, 26 May 2023

According to the Tunisian national guard, this smuggler had organized a clandestine crossing of 20 Tunisians, who left from the town of Chebba and who perished in the sinking of their boat last September.

Certain portions of Tunisian territory are less than 150 km from the Italian island of Lampedusa and migration attempts are regularly recorded, by people from sub-Saharan Africa but also by many Tunisians.

In recent weeks, due to very bad weather in the Mediterranean, departures have slowed down, but according to the European agency Frontex, between January and April, the number of irregular entries of migrants into the European Union via the central Mediterranean, increased by almost 300% compared to the same period of 2022, reaching 42,200.

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Home Affairs on African People First statement on immigration.

The South African Government, 11 May 2023

The Department of Home Affairs has been made aware of a media statement doing the rounds on social media about a meeting the Minister held with representatives of the African People First which purports to communicate the outcomes of that meeting.
To set the record straight, the Minister did meet the representatives of the African People First, at their own request. In the normal course of his work, the Minister does honour requests for meetings, for one reason or the other, from various individuals, institutions and organisations that request to meet with him. He honours the requests only if they are appropriate.

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