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Quarterly Mixed Migration Update West Africa, Quarter 2, 2022

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Key Updates

• Return of Nigerian refugees: At the beginning of the quarter, approximately 4,000 Nigerian refugees returned to Mallam Fatori in northeastern Nigeria. This return raised questions for some humanitarian actors, who highlighted challenges related to security and access to basic needs in the area of return.

• Resumption of Spain-Morocco relations: a thaw in diplomatic relations between Spain and Morocco which was formalized in early April saw the increase of migration cooperation and enforcement on the part of Morocco, leading to, among other things, a return to deportations of Moroccans and Saharawis from the Canary Islands and increased arrests with significant effect on sub-Saharan African migrants.
In this context, at least 37 refugees and migrants were killed in an attempt to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla on 24 June.

• Côte d’Ivoire cessation clause: On 30 June, the cessation clause ending refugee status for Ivorian refugees took effect. At that point, approximately 96% of the more than 300,000 people who had fled the country over the previous two decades had returned to Côte d’Ivoire. Some 4,717 Ivorians returned during the second quarter (as of 10 June).

• Atlantic Route to the Canary Islands: As of the end of the second quarter, an estimated 9,026 refugees and migrants had arrived in the Canary Islands (Atlantic Route), a 29% increase over the same period in 2021. During the same period, IOM recorded 344 deaths and disappearances along this route.