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UK Appoints “Channel Threat Commander” as Migrant Crossings Surge

August 10, 2020, 08.17 PM

LONDON, - A former UK Royal Marine Commando is at the helm of the British government’s efforts to stop the surge in migrant crossings.

Migrants are crossing through the English Channel from France in small boats.

The British government announced on Sunday that Dan O’Mahoney has been named “clandestine Channel threat commander”.

Read also: Migrant Rescues in the Mediterranean Sea to Resume in August

Dan is currently the head of the UK’s Joint Maritime Security Center.

Part of Dan O’Mahoney’s role is to work with French authorities on stronger enforcement measures including intercepting boats at sea.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said that the appointment and efforts are “to make this route unviable”.

Britain’s Conservative government has talked tough amid a surge in the number of migrants crossing the Channel during recent warm summer weather.

On Thursday, 235 people were brought ashore, a record number for a single day.

More than 650 have arrived so far in August, including babies and unaccompanied children.

Patel has said the Royal Navy could be called in to prevent boats reaching UK waters, though other senior officials and politicians say that would be impractical and potentially dangerous.

Read also: EU Relocates Asylum Seekers to Germany and Finland

On Saturday the Ministry of Defense said it had received a government request to “support UK Border Force operations” and was looking into how it could best help.

Migrants have long used northern France as a launching point to reach Britain, either in trucks through the English Channel tunnel or on ferries.

Some have turned to small boats organized by smugglers because coronavirus lockdowns have reduced opportunities to stow away on ferries and trucks.


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