Second reinforced fence at migrant reception camp

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The Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday that a second protective fence was placed around the perimeter of the Pournara migrant reception centre at Kokkinotrimithia, Nicosia.

The ministry said the aim is to restrict the people within the centre, ensuring the control of their entrances and exits for their safety and well-being of the residents of the wider area.

All residents at Pournara are not allowed to leave the centre for reasons of public safety and health until the completion of the necessary procedures.

Pournara operates as a first reception centre for migrants who enter the Republic irregularly.

The procedures include identification, asylum application, police and medical checks and collecting information on their rights and obligations in Cyprus.

The number of residents in Pournara has greatly reduced since last year, when chronic overcrowding led to violence and rioting.

A decision to build an additional perimeter fence was taken after rioting at the camp in October 2022.

Figures provided by the ministry said the number of residents in the centre was 692, while last year there were 1,698.

“The average number of residents had dropped greatly due to reduced arrivals and asylum applications compared to last year. The applications have decreased by more than 50%,” said the ministry.

From March to August 2022, asylum applications were 11,961; for the same period in 2023, they were 5,866.

“Also, the number of residents decreased due to the acceleration of procedures within the centre and the recruitment of additional staff from the Asylum Service.”