Struggling as 10,000 people arrive on its shores each week, Italy has begun to send migrants back to Sudan on charter flights.
The Italian government repatriated the first 48 migrants to Sudan on Wednesday after striking a deal with the North African country earlier this month.
The agreement, which comes as 10,000 migrants are arriving in Italy each week, has been met with outrage from activists.
The four dozen Sudanese were taken from Ventimiglia, near the French border, and flown back to their homeland on a chartered EgyptAir flight on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, more than 100 migrants broke through police barriers in the town and made their way to France. Situated on the French border, officials fear the town could become a new Calais, referring to the port’s so-called “jungle” camps, from which migrants attempt to illegally enter Britain.
Sudanese officials identified the first 48 people who could be deported out of a group of hundreds of African men who have been staying in the French-Italian border town.
Three activists from the “No Borders” network, which demands European taxpayers house, clothe and pay unlimited numbers of migrants, were arrested climbing onto a radar tower at Malpensa Airport.