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World News \ Africa

Migrant shipwrecks: IOM says EU closing down all avenues for migrants

Migrants waiting to be picked up after falling into the water during a rescue operation off the Libyan coast. - AFP

Migrants waiting to be picked up after falling into the water during a rescue operation off the Libyan coast. - AFP

03/11/2016 16:17

(Vatican Radio) With at least 239 migrants dying in two shipwrecks off the coast of Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Thursday that the EU is “closing down all the avenues” for migrants to reach Europe and therefore there's a "very dangerous situation" with people "racing” to get across the sea before “the gate closes finally.”

Leonard Doyle, the chief spokesperson for the IOM, predicted that as a result of these increased border patrols, more and more people in desperate situations are going “to throw caution to the winds” over the coming weeks in their attempt to get across the sea to Europe in “very unsafe conditions.” Doyle said there was "an absolute antipathy" right across Europe towards these people who are described as "irregular migrants" and whose application as asylum seekers is likely to be rejected. He was interviewed by Susy Hodges. 

Listen to the interview with Leonard Doyle, chief spokesperson for the International Office of Migration:  

03/11/2016 16:17