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9 African migrants drown off Tunisia’s coast

March 26, 2023 at 3:40 pm

Dozens of African immigrants, who have settled in the al-Buhaire region in the north of the capital Tunis of Tunisia continue their lives on the streets with limited opportunities on March 05, 2023. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s Coast Guard on Saturday retrieved the bodies of nine illegal migrants who drowned off the country’s coast, Anadolu reports.

In a statement, National Guard spokesman Houssam Eddine al-Jabali said the migrants were from sub-Saharan Africa and had sought to migrate to Italy.

He said four children and a baby were among the victims.

According to the spokesman, 2,982 irregular migrants, including nine Tunisians, were arrested by Tunisian forces since Thursday.

Tunisia’s Coast Guard had also recovered the bodies of seven migrants who drowned after their boat capsized off the country’s southeastern coast.

Last month, Tunisian President Kais Saied called for stemming the flow of illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa into the country, triggering criticism from the African Union Commission.

For years, Maghreb countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, and Morocco have witnessed attempts by migrants – mainly from sub-Saharan Africa – to reach Europe, hoping for a better life. While some of the migrants manage to reach their destination, others die during the journey.

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