The number of illegal migrant arrivals on the islands of the eastern Aegean is on the rise compared to last year, according to data released by the European Union border agency, Frontex.
“In the first seven months of this year, the total number of detections in the Eastern Mediterranean was down 6 percent from a year ago to almost 28,200,” it said.
Frontex said that despite the overall decrease, arrivals on the Aegean islands increased by a quarter compared to the same period last year.
“Most of the migrants detected on this route were nationals of Afghanistan,” it said. At the same time, Frontex said almost 2,900 entered Europe via the Western Mediterranean route – a 22 percent rise compared to June. The vast majority of these migrants came from Sub-Saharan Africa.
“The total for the January-July period stood at around 13,000, 41 percent less than in the same period of last year,” it said.
Moreover it noted an increase of 25 percent compared to last year via the Central Mediterranean route for the first seven months of this year – with migrants mainly from Tunisia, Sudan and Pakistan.
As for the Western Balkan route, it said there were 460 detections of illegal border crossings recorded in July while the total for the first seven months reached nearly 5,800.
“Double the figure from a year ago,” it said.