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Quarterly Mixed Migration Update West Africa, Quarter 2, 2021

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This Quarterly Mixed Migration Update (QMMU) covers the West Africa (WA) region. The core countries of focus for this region are Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso and Nigeria. Depending on the quarterly trends and migration-related updates, more attention may be given to any of the countries over the rest.

The QMMUs offer a quarterly update on new trends and dynamics related to mixed migration and relevant policy developments in the region. These updates are based on compilation of a wide range of secondary (data) sources, brought together within a regional framework and applying a mixed migration analytical lens. Similar QMMU’s are available for all MMC regions.

Key Updates

• Displacement in Burkina Faso: In the month of April alone, internal displacement in Burkina Faso increased by 71,055 persons, nearly equaling displacement numbers for the entire first quarter of the year, and bringing estimated total internal displacement in the country to 1,218,754.

• Canary Islands arrivals: Some 3,280 refugees and migrants arrived irregularly by sea to the Canary Islands in the second quarter of the year, according to a compilation of UNHCR's Spain Weekly Snapshots. This was approximately three times as many arrivals as during the same period of 2020.

• Deaths at sea along the Atlantic route: IOM documented 250 deaths at sea along the Atlantic route to the Canary Islands during the first half of the year, while estimating that this number is likely a significant undercount.

• Canary Islands departures: The Canary Islands saw a reduction in the numbers of people accommodated in official camps and reception centers throughout the islands. As of the end of May, this number was estimated at 2,288, compared to 8,000 at the end of December. This was attributed to an increase in transfers of people with vulnerable profiles to the Spanish mainland, coupled with the lifting of a block on independent travel by refugees and migrants with the necessary documentation.

• Algeria expulsions to Niger: In his report on pushbacks, the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants highlighted the pushbacks occurring from Algeria to Niger, expressing his concern over these "collective expulsions."