Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has slammed European governments for their handling of the migration crisis.
According to El-Sissi, Egypt is home to 6 million people fleeing conflict and poverty in their home countries.
“We didn’t turn them away or send them to camps.” I’m not talking about 5,000 or 10,000 people here; I’m talking about millions. “Our European friends refuse to accept them,” he said.
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El-Sissi made the remarks during a session at the World Youth Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh, which is taking place on the Red Sea.
According to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration, Egypt is home to over 6 million migrants, more than half of whom are from Sudan and South Sudan, where simmering conflicts continue to displace tens of thousands of people every year.
For some, Egypt is both a destination and a haven, as it is the closest and most accessible country.
Others use it as a stopover before attempting the perilous Mediterranean crossing into Europe.
However, the number of migrants departing from Egypt is small in comparison to the number departing from Libya.
Libya has risen to prominence as a major transit point for migrants fleeing war and poverty in Africa and the Middle East in the hopes of finding a better life in Europe.
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Oil-rich Libya was thrown into chaos after long-time dictator Moammar Gadhafi was deposed and killed in a NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
For decades, Egypt has been a haven for Sub-Saharan African migrants fleeing war and poverty.