4 drown in Tunisia as migrant boat capsizes


4 died and 21 were rescued as a migrant ship sank in Tunisia, according to Asharq Al-Awsat, September 13. 

A Tunisian judge told world news agency, Reuters, that a boat heading to Siclily sank off the Tunisian city of Sfax. 

The 4 who died were three young children and one woman. The judge, Faouzi Masmoud, added that all those aboard were from Tunisia. 

Sfax is the North African country’s second largest city, and its port is a popular departure point for sub-Saharan African migrants who attempt to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy’s coast. 

The Italian Red Cross are increasingly concerned at the high number of people making the dangerous route to Europe. In just one day alone, 5,000 migrants in 100 different ships arrived at the Italian island of Lampedusa (located in the Sicily region) as people smugglers have taken advantage of the recent calm waters. 

The Red Cross also raised doubts about the conditions on the Sicilian Island. 

The Italian Red Cross’ director, Rosario Valastro, said on social media that “Days ago, there were more than 4,000 people (crossing) and we were talking about a record, today we are talking about a record of landings.”. 

The Red Cross called on Italy’s government to quickly transfer migrants in Lampedusa to the Italian mainland due to the humanitarian organisation’s personnel struggling to cope with the large scale of people coming to the island. 

Italy’s government, led by the far-right Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, have imposed stricter immigration laws. In late April of this year, the nationalist government approved a bill that attempts to lessen the number of migrants who can seek asylum. 

Many are fleeing Tunisia (particularly black African migrants) due to President Saied’s hostile rhetoric towards immigration and the economic situation in the Maghreb country. 

Asharq Al-Awsat/Reuters


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