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  • A child waits with migrants at the border between Italy and France in the city of Ventimiglia, Italy.

    A child waits with migrants at the border between Italy and France in the city of Ventimiglia, Italy. | Photo: AFP

Published 14 June 2015

Migrants defy European efforts to limit their freedom of movement. 

​Dozens of migrants have gone on hunger strike and started a sit-in at the French-Italian border on Saturday after being refused entry by French officials.

"We won't eat," 20 year-old Mustapha Ali told news agency AFP.

"We spent all of yesterday in the heat, and last night in the rain and cold. If we must die here, no need to eat," he said.

Ali is one of many migrants who started a peaceful protest in front of a dozen border guards currently blocking their travels into northern Europe.

Protesters are holding signs that say “We need freedom” and “We are not going back, we need to pass” as cars go past them, freely passing through border controls.

The protesters have threatened to block traffic if they are not let through.

RELATED: Dismantle Europe’s Racist and Murderous Migration Regime

​Members of the European Union’s Schengen accord, including Italy and France, usually provide freedom of mobility across their territories but following a recent G-7 summit border controls have been reinstated. The decision comes as an estimated 6,000 migrants arrived in Italy last week.  

Many of the migrants came from Somalia, Eritrea, the Ivory Coast and Sudan, and seek to reach northern European countries to request asylum.  

"In Darfur there is a lot of war and violence, they massacre people, we want peace," Mohamed, a Sudanese refugee, told AFP.

Mohamed had made it into southern France but got arrested at a train station and was forced back into Italy, a reminder of who is targeted by increased border controls.

RELATED: EU Border Agency Won't Prioritize Saving Migrants' Lives

Meanwhile, Italian migrant centres are reportedly reaching breaking point with about 76,000 people accommodated nationwide.

The migrant centers have been under scrutiny recently as the Italian police found that a network of corrupt politicians, officials and business people in Rome have allegedly been involved in rigging public contracts to manage migrant reception centers.

The migrant centers, often run on contract by cooperative social organizations, have proved to be a major source of profit which cartels sought to monopolize by fixing public contracts and excluding rival bidders.

WATCH: Global African - The Great Migration

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