The Tunisian coast guard said Thursday that three boats trying to transport migrants across the Mediterranean Sea sank in recent days off the coast of the Tunisian city of Sfax, leaving at least five Africans dead and dozens more missing.
Sfax Prosecutor Faouzi Masmoudi reported that five bodies, including one kid, had been found nearby recently.
Masmoudi told The Associated Press that 73 migrants had been saved following the three shipwrecks by navy forces, but accounts from survivors suggested that as many as 47 more might still be missing. There are six reported missing people who are youngsters.
Masmoudi claimed that the iron boats began to absorb water as soon as they entered the open sea.
The majority of the increasing number of efforts to flee Tunisia by boat for Italy depart from the region around Sfax, a port on the country’s central coast.
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According to Masmoudi, there have been about 500 victims interred in Sfax’s cemeteries since January, a substantial increase from the previous two years. According to him, 226 burials occurred in 2021 and 355 in 2022.
Unprecedented numbers of migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, are leaving Tunisia for the risky trek. According to Tunisian authorities, in just the first three months of this year, they prevented 13,000 migrants from traveling from Sfax to Tunis.
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Growing numbers of migrants are entering Tunisia through its neighboring Libya, and the country itself is experiencing a financial and political crisis that is pushing more and more young Tunisians to leave their country in search of a better life in Europe.
Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni told reporters on Thursday that the leaders of Italy and the Netherlands, along with the head of the EU Commission, will travel to Tunisia on Sunday with a package of security measures to pave the way for a potential international bailout.
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