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Thursday, April 18, 2024

34 migrants missing after shipwreck off Tunisia

The boat carrying 38 people had set off on Thursday from near Sfax and was attempting to reach Italy, said Fawzi El Masmoudi, a court spokesman in the port city.

Thirty-four migrants from sub-Saharan Africa were missing off Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast on Friday after their boat capsized, a court official said, the latest in a string of tragedies this month.

The boat carrying 38 people had set off on Thursday from near Sfax and was attempting to reach Italy, said Fawzi El Masmoudi, a court spokesman in the port city.

Read more: When a Tunisian family meets Palestinian in Kaba

Sub-Saharan African migrants residing in Tunisia have been living in fear since an incendiary speech by President Kais Saied speech last month, in which he accused them of representing a demographic threat and causing a crime wave.

The North African country’s population of 12 million hosts an estimated 21,000 migrants from other parts of Africa, representing 0.2 per cent of the population.