The bodies of 21 migrants were recovered by the Tunisian National Office for Civil Protection on Friday. Their boat had sunk off the coast of Sfax while trying to cross to Italy.
The Middle East Eye reports that the Director of the ONPC, Mourad Al-Mishri, said that the bodies of the migrants were recovered 2.5 nautical miles from the coast of Sfax. Al Mishri said, “the causes of the sinking and the number of migrants on board are still unknown,” and that a search and rescue operation was still underway. He added that the recovered bodies were those of Sub-Saharan Africans. The deceased included two babies.
According to the Middle East Eye, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights said that the estimated number of migrants arriving in Italy from the Tunisian coast, while only 800 in 2019, had surged to 8 000 in 2020.
Joblessness, challenging social conditions and the lack of any tangible development in Tunisia and Sub-Saharan Africa were reportedly the main reasons motivating the youth to migrate to Europe.
Umm Muhammed Umar