Cyprus Safely Retrieves 86 Individuals in Mediterranean Migrant Operation

Cyprus Safely Retrieves 86 Individuals In Mediterranean Migrant Operation

On Monday, August 21, 2023, Cypriot authorities carried out a successful rescue operation, saving 86 migrants whose boat encountered difficulties 12 nautical miles off the southeast coast of Cyprus. The Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) safely brought 61 men, six women, and 19 children to shore and plans to transfer them to a migrant reception center near the capital, Nicosia. The rescue involved a marine police patrol boat and two speedboats deployed off Cape Greco, close to the Ayia Napa resort.

Details regarding the nationalities of the rescued individuals and the origin of their boat were not immediately available. However, this incident follows another rescue by Cypriot authorities on August 15, where 60 migrants were saved in the same area. The number of migrants arriving by boat has been on the rise this year, experiencing a 60 percent increase in the first five months compared to the same period last year, according to authorities.

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The Aliens and Immigration Unit reports that most irregular migrants arriving by sea board boats in the Syrian port of Tartus, often being detected off Cape Greco. Cyprus, as a member of the European Union, argues that it is a frontline country along the Mediterranean migrant route. Asylum-seekers constitute 5 percent of the population in government-controlled areas of the island, which is the highest proportion among EU member states.

Interior Minister Constantinos Ioannou recently revealed that the returns of failed asylum seekers have surpassed 4,370 in the current year, a significant increase from the 2,353 recorded in 2022.

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