Europe migrant crisis

  1. Tunisia opens cemetery for Mediterranean migrants

    Workers build graves at the "Jardin d'Afrique" (Garden of Africa) - a cemetery in southern Tunisia for migrants
    Image caption: The burial site for migrants in Tunisia is already half full

    A cemetery for migrants who drown in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Europe has been formally opened in the southern Tunisian town of Zarzis.

    It is already half full.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the head of the UN’s cultural agency Unesco spoke of an "unfolding tragedy".

    Audrey Azoulay paid tribute to what she called the "castaways who perished in pursuit of a better life".

    Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay (L) walks alongside Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi (R) as she visits the Garden of Africa
    Image caption: Audrey Azoulay (L), head of the UN’s cultural agency Unesco, formally opened the cemetery

    Many buried at the site, called the Garden of Africa, were unidentified, and have no name on their headstones.

    They lie in graves surrounded by olive trees, vines and sculptures.

    The Garden of Africa
    Image caption: Hand-painted ceramics line the ground and a fragrant garden is being planted

    The Algerian artist who funded and designed the cemetery said he wanted to give those who were brought there a "first taste of paradise".

    “I wanted to help the families get closure and for them to know that there is a place for a dignified burial” of their loved ones, the AFP news agency quotes Rachid Koraichi as saying.

    Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi is pictured at the Garden of Africa
    Image caption: Algerian artist Rachid Koraichi has designed the Garden of Africa
  2. Video content

    Video caption: Canary Islands: 'Taking in migrants changed my life'

    A British businessman has turned his Canary Islands hotel into a home for migrants from Africa.

  3. Spain accuses Morocco of blackmail in migrants row

    BBC World Service

    Spanish soldiers assist a migrant at El Tarajal beach, near the fence between the Spanish-Moroccan border
    Image caption: Record numbers of migrants have this week entered Ceuta from Morocco

    Spain has accused Morocco of aggression and blackmail, following the influx of thousands of migrants into the Spanish north African enclave of Ceuta.

    The Foreign minister, Margarita Robles, said Spain's territorial integrity wasn't negotiable and called on Morocco to comply with international law.

    Madrid has accused Rabat of deliberately allowing the migrants to enter its territory, because the leader of the separatist Polisario Front (Brahim Ghali) is receiving medical treatment in Spain.

    Read more:

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Ceuta: Spanish troops clear migrants from African enclave

    Some 8,000 migrants have reached Ceuta on the Spanish-Morrocan border in two days, officials say.

  5. Migrants reach Spain's Ceuta enclave in record numbers

    Video content

    Video caption: Analyst says Moroccan border guards 'turned a blind eye' as people swam round sea barriers

    Analyst says Moroccan border guards 'turned a blind eye' as people swam round sea barriers

  6. More than 100 swim from Morocco to Ceuta

    BBC World Service

    Civil Guard members help some of Moroccan migrants that have arrived swimming at the spike of Tarajal at the north of Morocco on 17 May 2021
    Image caption: They made it to the border zone of Tarajal

    The authorities in Spain say more than 100 migrants have swum or floated on beach rafts overnight from Morocco into the neighbouring Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

    Most came around the coast at Benzu on the north side of the enclave, followed by some at Tarajal on the south side, where there was a similar influx last month.

    Reports say at least two people were treated for hypothermia.

    Spanish media say Moroccan border guards stood by and watched as entire families put themselves at risk.

    Most of the people who made it to Tarajal last month were sent back, except for around 30 minors, whose ages were confirmed by medical tests.

  7. Video content

    Video caption: Teen girl found in boat drifting for three weeks at sea

    Aicha, 17, was making the journey from Ivory Coast to Europe for the "chance of a better life".

  8. Rescue ships save migrants off Libya

    BBC World Service

    The German humanitarian group Sea-Watch says it has rescued 121 migrants off Libya in two missions in the past 24 hours.

    It has tweeted photos of the missions, saying 11 women and a baby were among those rescued on Friday morning:

    View more on twitter

    Sea-Watch said it spotted the first group on Thursday evening within a day of returning to the rescue zone in the Mediterranean.

    Another European group, SOS Mediterranee, says its vessel, Ocean Viking, has picked up 236 migrants in the zone over the past few days.

    In a recent tweet, it said survivors spoke of being beaten to make them board flimsy rubber boats as they were worried by the sea conditions.

    View more on twitter