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Quarterly Mixed Migration Update North Africa, Quarter 4, 2020

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Key Updates

• Land and sea arrivals to Italy and Spain from North Africa (through the Central and Western Mediterranean Routes) increased by 176% in Q4 compared to the same period in 2019. Overall, 2020 saw an 86% increase in arrivals on both routes compared to 2019.

• With 38%, Tunisians represented the top nationality to arrive in Italy through the Central Mediterranean Route (CMR) between January – November 2020. In total, 12,490 Tunisians arrived in Italy, marking the highest number since 2011.

• Similarly, in 2020, the largest share of refugees and migrants travelling on the CMR had departed from Tunisia (45%), overtaking embarkations from Libya (36%).

• Spanish media shared at the end of the year that over the course of 2020, a total of 2,170 refugees and migrants had died on the Atlantic Route to the Canary Islands, suggesting it may be one of the most dangerous routes.

• In Q4, 2,367 refugees and migrants were intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) and returned to Libya. This represents an increase of 10% compared to roughly the same period in 2019. The overall figure for 2020 of intercepted refugees and migrants stands at 11,265, compared to 9,035 interceptions in 2019, marking a 25% increase.

• From January – November 2020, 82,567 refugees and asylum seekers in Sudan were registered by UNHCR, which marks a 343% increase compared to the same period in 2019. 57% of the newly registered arrived in the month of November, linked to the outbreak of conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray region, increasing the number of Ethiopian refugees in Sudan to 58,836.