France has reportedly deployed troops to its border with Italy in response to an increase in migrant arrivals in Italy. According to Europe 1 radio station, French authorities have deployed the elite Alpine Hunters regiment to patrol the mountains in the Roya Valley, and a special police anti-terrorism unit has been seen in the area. In addition, a French helicopter belonging to the Transalpine Customs has been spotted patrolling the border region.
Europe 1 reported that the Alpes-Maritimes department has requested the establishment of an extra holding facility to temporarily accommodate up to 100 detained migrants. The French General Directorate for Internal Security will also be dispatching personnel to conduct interviews with individuals attempting illegal border crossings, with the primary aim of preventing the entry of potential terrorists into France.
French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, in an interview with Europe 1, stated that France wants to help Italy secure its borders, as 60% of migrants arriving in the country are not eligible for asylum. He emphasized the need to protect the EU’s external borders and called for the swift deportation of migrants whose asylum requests have been rejected.
Italian media outlets, including La Stampa newspaper, have also reported the presence of a French helicopter and anti-terrorism units along the Italian border. La Stampa confirmed the arrival of approximately 50 troops from the Alpine Hunters regiment and six vehicles at the frontier.
Last week, German newspaper Die Welt reported that Germany had temporarily suspended admitting migrants arriving via Italy, citing high migrant pressure and Italy’s refusal to honor the EU-wide migrant redistribution agreement.
The Italian Interior Ministry revealed that since the beginning of this year, 89,158 illegal immigrants have successfully crossed the Mediterranean Sea into Italy, representing a 115% increase compared to the same period in 2022. In response to this influx, Italy declared a state of emergency in April.
The deployment of French troops and security forces to the Italian border reflects the growing concern over the influx of migrants and the need to secure Europe’s external borders. France’s collaboration with Italy in patrolling the border and conducting interviews with migrants highlights the shared goal of preventing potential security threats and managing the migrant crisis effectively.
The situation at the Italian border serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by European countries in managing the flow of migrants and ensuring the security of their borders. The cooperation between France and Italy demonstrates the importance of international collaboration in addressing these complex issues.