In the border town of Ventimiglia 500 people are determined to make their way to France

For the fifth time in one week, Sami, a 25-year-old from Guinea, was trying to cross into France from the Italian border town of Ventimiglia.

As the train glided along a track sandwiched between the steep cliffs of the Maritime Alps and a glistening Mediterranean sea, passing well-manicured beach resorts along the way, he was feeling hopeful. “I just need to get as far as Marseille where I have a friend who can help me reach Germany,” he told the Observer. “All I want is a better life – in Guinea it is impossible, it is so corrupt.”

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