Dozens Dead After Migrant Boat to Europe Sinks off Tunisia

    Dozens Dead After Migrant Boat to Europe Sinks off Tunisia
    Last updated Apr 14, 2023
    Image credit: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images [via The Guardian]


    • As of Friday, at least 33 people are reportedly dead after a boat carrying migrants from sub-Saharan Africa toward Europe sank off the coast of Tunisia earlier this week.[1]
    • According to the Tunisian coastguard, 76 of the 110 migrants were rescued, with most of those killed from sub-Saharan African countries.[1]
    • This follows another shipwreck between Tunisia and Italy over the weekend, after which German aid group ResQship said its rescuers were "able to recover 22 survivors and 2 deceased." According to the survivors, roughly 20 people drowned.[2]
    • Tunisia, which is less than 150km (93 miles) from the Italian island of Lampedusa, has seen increased migrant departures from its coast, as Pres. Kais Saied has intensified his criticism of illegal immigration, claiming it's a source of "violence and crime."[3]
    • Tunisia's coastguard last week said it had intercepted more than 14K people trying to reach Europe from January to March, more than five times the number of those who attempted the trip in the first quarter of 2022.[4]
    • More than 28K migrants have reportedly reached Italy since the start of the year, including thousands in just the past few days. This has led to PM Giorgia Meloni's right-wing coalition government cracking down on rescue boats operating in the central Mediterranean north of Libya.[2]


    Left narrative

    After fraudulently designating Tunisia as a safe destination for migrants in 2019, Italy violated European law by deporting these disadvantaged men, women, and children to a country from which they were fleeing due to persecution and economic despair. And, if not immediately deported, Meloni's government places them in unsatisfactory detention centers with little food or care. This must stop, and safe routes to Europe must be implemented as per EU law.

    Right narrative

    While international governing bodies try to pit Italy and Tunisia against each other, the truth of the matter is that both Meloni and Saied are in agreement on the migrant issue. Tunisia is a stopping point along the way to Italy, which means both nations are dealing with the consequences of Europe's foolish open borders rhetoric. The solution is to stop the root causes of illegal immigration in the first place, not accept hordes of them that make dangerous treks and overwhelm immigration systems.

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