One Night’s Rescue Of 1,000 African Migrants, According To Tunisia’s Coast Guard
After a wave of violence against black migrants, the coast guard said on Friday that more than 1,000 African migrants trying to reach Europe were saved in a single night off Tunisia.
Invoking an unsupported “criminal plan” to alter Tunisia’s demographics, President Kais Saied urged officials in the North African nation to take “immediate measures” to address illegal migration last month.
International human rights organizations said that his remarks encouraged attacks, evictions, and other forms of revenge against migrants after West African nations evacuated hundreds of their terrified citizens.
The coast of Tunisia, which is at its closest point around 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the Italian island of Lampedusa, was where 1,008 migrants were rescued overnight between Thursday and Friday, according to a statement from the country’s coast guard.
The majority of the migrants who were saved were from sub-Saharan Africa, but 54 Tunisians were also saved, according to the coast guard.
According to its spokeswoman, at least 25 efforts to cross into Italy throughout the course of the night were unsuccessful.
A spokesman for the court overseeing the investigation into the deaths stated on Thursday that fourteen Africans perished in the Mediterranean this week when two migrant boats capsized off Tunisia.
In Tunisia, a nation of over 12 million people, there are about 21,000 illegal migrants from other regions of Africa, according to data from the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), which was derived from official sources.
Since July 2021, Saied has essentially taken over all authority. His detractors charge that he wants to impose a new dictatorship in a nation that is struggling with inflation and a lack of basic supplies.
With Saied’s comments, the World Bank effectively stopped making new loans to the cash-strapped Tunisia.
He rejected racism on Wednesday. “I am African and I am glad to be African,” Saied stated in a video published by the presidency.
Rome reported in February that more than 32,000 migrants, including 18,000 Tunisians, entered Italy from Tunisia in 2017. More than a thousand people have left neighboring Libya.