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  • Tunisia's Coast Guard is still looking for missing passengers.

    Tunisia's Coast Guard is still looking for missing passengers. | Photo: Twitter/@missingmigrant

Published 9 June 2020
Opinion

The vessel carried 53 people when it sank, at least 20 bodies have been found.

Over 20 bodies were found by police officers off the Sfax coast in Tunisia after a boat with African migrants sank Tuesday.

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The Coast Guard Unit is searching for other missing passengers, informed Sfax court spokesman Mourad Tourki, who also added that there is an ongoing investigation after the shipwreck that took place on the east coast of Tunisia.

The country has now become the preferred jumping-off point for Sub-Saharan African migrants to reach Europe via Italy, as the most popular route through Lybia has remained almost close following an agreement between this nation and Italy.

As of last week, Tunisia's authorities have stopped various attempts by migrants to depart for Europe. One of the operations by the Tunisian Coast Guard revealed nine young people from Tunis who were trying to reach the Kerkennah Islands by car to then set off, according to information by the Ministry of Interior.

Another attempt was intercepted in late May when a boat with 14 people, between the ages of 20 and 29 years, tried to leave from Sfax. The boat had reportedly been stolen.

However, on May 4, 2020, two vessels arrived at the Italian island of Lampedusa. The 71 migrants were from Ivory Coast, Ghana, Mali, and Tunisia.

The United Nations refugee agency registers that migration from Tunisia to Italy has jumped by 150 percent in the first four months of 2020, compared with the same period last year.

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