Creating new perspectives since 2009

13 migrants dead after boat sinks off Tunisia, 27 missing

February 8, 2024 at 12:40 pm

Illegal migrants from Sudan who were intercepted last night at sea, rest in the Tunisian town of Zarzis [F NASRI/AFP via Getty Images]

The bodies of 13 Sudanese migrants have been recovered and 27 others are missing after a boat sunk on Wednesday off the coast of Tunisia after setting off from Sfax, a Tunisian judicial official told Reuters today.

The boat contained 42 people, all of them Sudanese. Two people were rescued, the official added. Tunisia remains a favoured setting-off point for migrants from other parts of Africa who are seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.

Moreover, emigration of Tunisian citizens has also been on the rise as a result of the financial instability in the country. Between 2011 and 2018, EU assistance to Tunisia amounted to over €2.5 billion ($2.9bn), including over €1.7bn ($2bn) in grants and €800 million ($922m) in macro-financial assistance.

The aid has been given in an effort to boost the economy and encourage the creation of jobs. The aim is to entice Tunisians to remain in their country and not attempt to make the perilous journey to Europe.

READ: Tunisia arrests 64 for involvement in illegal immigration