Frontex Chief: 300,000 More Migrants Headed from Africa to Europe

The director of the agency for the control of the external borders of the European Union (EU) has predicted that as many as 300,000 new migrants will be heading up from sub-Saharan Africa into Europe, most of whom will attempt to reach Italy as first port of call. Fabrice Leggeri, the director of Frontex, said Tuesday that he based his estimates in part on recent surveys done in the Agadez region of  Niger, where sub-Saharan migration has reached 13 thousand persons per month. “If migration flows from West Africa continue toward Libya, then we must expect some 300,000 people fleeing this year from West Africa to the northern Maghreb, to then continue to travel to Europe,” he said in an interview with the German Funke media group. The director also expressed concern that an alternate route from Egypt has opened in the Mediterranean after the effective closing of the so-called Balkan route through Greece to Macedonia. With shifting migration patterns, 13 to 14 times more migrants are now traveling from Libya to Italy than from Turkey to Greece, he said. “The momentum is increasing. From April to May, the number of people fleeing to Italy doubled,” Leggeri noted, adding that