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Nearly 6,000 immigrants died on the frontiers of Europe since 1988

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  • Samedi 12 Janvier 2008 -- Dix huit jeunes émigrés clandestins partis depuis Tigzirt (35 km au nord de Tizi-Ouzou) ont rejoint jeudi ?* l'aube les cotes espagnoles, a appris toutsurlalgerie.com auprès de leurs proches. Ils avaient embarqué mardi soir ?* bord d'une embarcation achetée plus de 2, 5millions de dinars, ?* raison de 140000 dinars par passager. Les dix huit émigrés clandestins ont réussi ?* atteindre l'Espagne d'où certains ont joint par téléphone leurs familles.

    L'embarcation dotée de deux moteurs a échappé aux multiples patrouilles des forces navales algériennes et espagnoles. Selon leurs proches, ces jeunes ont opté pour l’achat d’une embarcation de bonne qualité au lieu d'acheter de faux visas pour un prix équivalent.

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    • January 12, 2008 -- The head of the Balearic Islands government, Ramon Sothias, revealed to the central government in Madrid that the Spanish security authorities will start equipping several maritime points in the southern and south eastern beaches with spotting means and radars to prevent incursions of illegal immigrants onto its soil.

      Diario de Mallorca and Ultima Hora newspapers yesterday quoted the official as saying that the Spanish coastguards had to equip the checkpoints in Mallorca with three or four radars to stop boats’ incursions, carrying mainly Algerian illegal immigrants, and as lashing out at the local authorities for their failure in spotting two boats on Balearic beaches last Wednesday.

      The boats were carrying 18 Algerian illegal immigrants and a Tunisian who set foot on Spanish beaches unnoticed. M. Sothias further added that if it wasn’t for the “sense of patriotism” that pushed one of the inhabitants to denounce these immigrants to the local authorities, they would have never noticed their presence.

      The official said that the capacity of the radars used to monitor the coasts does not have not a wide range since they cover only 50 to 60 kms out of 650 kms of beaches that constitute the Balearic Islands.

      On the other hand, Spanish non governmental organizations have staunchly criticized the policy followed by the socialist government led by Zapatero in dealing with this issue, and asked for a “radical change” that should take into account the humanitarian dimension.

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          • Dimanche 13 janvier 2008 -- En dépit de toutes les mesures prises par les pouvoirs publics afin d'endiguer le phénomène de la harga (émigration clandestine), les jeunes ne semblent nullement découragés. Même la rigueur de la saison hivernale n'a pas pu tempérer leur ardeur, en témoigne le dernier cas en date caractérisé par l'interpellation de deux jeunes âgés de 24 ans, qui viennent de voir leur aventure échouer sur les côtes ibériques.

            En effet, ces deux jeunes ont réussi ?* atteindre la ville de Valence (Espagne), ?* bord du MSC Shirley, porte-conteneurs battant pavillon panaméen et assurant la liaison Espagne-Algérie. Ils s'y sont embarqués le 2 janvier dernier et ont réussi ?* tromper la vigilance de l'équipage jusqu'?* l'arrivée où ils furent cueillis au port de Valence par la police espagnole. Ils ont été aussitôt refoulés sur le même bateau qui les a remis aux autorités mardi dernier, alors qu'il était de passage au large de Skikda en route pour la Tunisie.

            Hier samedi, ils ont été présentés devant le parquet de Skikda par les éléments de la police des frontières maritimes de Skikda, puis écroués.

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            • Lundi 14 Janvier 2008 -- Un groupe de 22 harragas originaires de Tigzirt et de Dellys ont réussi ?* gagner les côtes espagnoles ?* bord d’une barque achetée par ces candidats ?* l’émigration clandestine ?* raison de 100 000,00 DA (10 millions de centimes) chacun, a-t-on appris de sources fiables. L’aventure de ces “Sindbad” des temps modernes a commencé dans la nuit de mardi ?* mercredi derniers. L’embarquement s’est effectué ?* partir de Tigzirt (Tizi Ouzou). La barque a été conduite par un ancien pêcheur habitant la ville de Dellys (Boumerdès) qui a une longue expérience dans le domaine de la navigation tant il a fait de nombreux déplacements en Espagne dans le cadre de ses activités commerciales dans le passé avec les Ibers, ont expliqué nos sources. Selon un proche de quelques harragas, tout le groupe est arrivé “sain et sauf” ?* Majorque.

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                • Cabo de Palos, Spain, January 14, 2008 -- Eight Immigrants were rescued when spotted rowing 18 miles south of Cabo de Palos.

                  The Algerians were all over 18. They had resorted to rowing when they ran out of fuel. A customs control plane spotted them and informed the coast guard, who sent out a helicopter and life boat to tow them ashore.

                  The crew were in good health and will be sent back to Algeria.

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                      • January 23, 2008 -- The Spanish Guardia Civil arrested 17 illegal Moroccan immigrants on Tuesday (January 22nd), as they swam ashore near Conil de la Frontera after their boat capsized, MAP quoted a government spokesman as saying. Two of the would-be immigrants drowned. An additional 29 Moroccan illegal immigrants, including a minor, were also arrested Tuesday by Spanish police in Barbate.

                        In related news, Ech Chourouk reported that Italian police began a clamp-down on Algerian illegal immigrants in Naples, Lampedusa, Sardinia and Crotoni on Monday. Dozens of illegals were arrested in an effort to curb what officials called "waves of immigrants" who have reached Italian shores since the beginning of January.

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                          • RABAT, February 6, 2008 (Reuters) - Moroccan security forces rounded up hundreds of illegal migrants in the past week and left many of them on the border with Algeria, aid workers said on Wednesday.

                            Near Nador on Morocco's north coast, police arrested over 100 migrants as they prepared to board boats for Spain. Others were detained at a university campus in the eastern town of Oujda frequented by migrants arriving from Algeria.

                            "The police attacked the campus at 4 a.m. and arrested about 26 people," said Hicham Baraka, head of local development association ABCDS. "They were dumped at the Algerian border."

                            Morocco's government confirmed a total of 512 arrests of would-be illegal migrants across the country so far this month, of which 91 were Moroccans, state news agency MAP said.

                            Thousands of sub-Saharan migrants trek north through the desert and pay traffickers for passage to Europe on overcrowded boats to escape poverty at home.

                            Tightened border controls have made it harder for them to enter Europe from the south, leaving tens of thousands stranded in poverty in north Africa.

                            Migrant support groups have accused the European Union of pressuring Maghreb governments to expel the migrants and failing to produce promised aid to help them find alternative livelihoods.

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                            • February 7, 2008 -- According to the chairman of an Algerian immigrants' association based in Spain, hundreds of Algerian illegal immigrants or "Harragas", who perish in their perillous sea journey to the Spanish coasts, have been buried in Christian graveyards in Spain.

                              Ahmed Baraoui told Echorouk newspaper that these illegal immigrants, who lost their lives in their quest for a better life elswhere, had been buried in mass graves in the Christian way without any respect for their Muslim faith.

                              He also indicated that those illegal immigrants who miraculously manage to set foot on Spanish soil, often fall into the clutches of organized trafficking networks.

                              These lawless networks, he said, use them as a very cheap labour force, subjecting them to all sorts of blackmail and deprivation in blatant violation of all humanitarian laws.

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