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Unexplained Switzerland sees influx of Guinean asylum seekers

The number of people from Guinea seeking refuge in Switzerland rose significantly during the first three months of 2017. The reason for the increase is unclear. (SRF/ 

A total of 339 Guineans filed official requests for asylum in Switzerland between January and March 2017, a 280% increase on the same period last year. Neighbouring Germany recorded 1,275 Guinean asylum seekers, an even bigger rise of 600% for the first quarter of 2017 compared with 2016.

During the same period, 1,100 people from Guinea were stopped at the Swiss-Italian border near Chiasso, accused of illegal entry. By comparison, in that time frame, 247 Eritreans were arrested at the border and 939 applied for asylum in Switzerland.

Swiss immigration officials are unsure of the reasons for the influx from Guinea, a West African state with a stable political situation, but say it could have to do with migration flows within Europe. Lukas Rieder from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), told Swiss public television, SRF, that “Guineans have little chance of asylum in Switzerland."

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