Tunisia: 42 Egyptian migrants rescued off the Kerkennah archipelago

The Tunisian Navy rescued, on Sunday August 14, 42 migrants of Egyptian nationality off Kerkennah (center-east). According toto local press, the migrants left the Libyan coast on the night of August 12 to 13. Their boat sank. They had managed to board the oil terminal “Ashtart” southeast of the island of Kerkennah before being rescued by the Tunisian Navy. The migrants were taken to the El-Ketf fishing port in Ben Guerdane (governorate of Medenine) where they were handed over to the National Guard for “take the necessary measures against them”, said the Tunisian Ministry of Defense. In August 2021, eighteen egyptian migrants had died in the sinking of their boat and 51 others were rescued off the coast of Libya.

Last week, a boat carrying 30 Tunisian migrants was shipwrecked off the Kerkennah Islands, recalls webdo. Twenty migrants had been rescued and eight bodies recovered from the 30 people (three women, four children and a man).

Multiplication of attempts

In spring and summer, thanks to milder weather, attempts at illegal emigration to Europe tend to increase. Tunisian maritime authorities thwarted five new attempts and intercepted or rescued 82 people on the night of Thursday August 11 to Friday August 12. The maritime authorities announced on Sunday August 7 that they had rescued or intercepted more than 280 migrants, including 170 sub-Saharans, who were trying to leave the east coast of Tunisian territory. Italy, some of whose coasts are only 200 km from the Tunisian coast, is one of the main entry points into Europe for migrants from North Africa.

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Slowdown during the Covid epidemic

Egyptians are not the most numerous to try to reach Europe. Migrants come mainly from Tunisia and Libya, two neighboring countries from which departures have started to grow again in the past two years, after a slowdown during the Covid epidemic. Tunisia is going through a serious political and economic crisis and now has 4 million poor people. Libya has been in chaos since 2011 with militias managing the lucrative trafficking of sub-Saharan migrants. Between January 1 and July 22, 2022, 34,000 people arrived by sea in Italy, compared to 25,500 in the same period of 2021, and 10,900 in 2020, according to the Italian Interior Ministry.

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