29 Migrants Died off the Coast of Tunisia.

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Officials have reported that at least 29 sub-Saharan migrants have died in two boat sinkings off the coast of Tunisia. The migrants were attempting to reach Italy via the Mediterranean. This is part of a recent series of migrant boat accidents, with five others happening in the last four days. Tunisia has recently begun a crackdown on undocumented African migrants.

Italian officials in Lampedusa report being overwhelmed by a record-breaking 2,500 migrants arriving within the last 24 hours. Italy’s far-right Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, warns of a potential wave of refugees arriving in Europe. Tunisia has become a popular hub for migrants seeking to reach Europe, with a significant increase in migrant arrivals from Tunisia to Italy compared to last year.

However, the Tunisia coast guard say they are taking steps to stop the migrant crossings, having halted around 80 vessels headed for Europe in the past four days,  It also says it has detained more than 3,000 migrants, the same agency reports.

In a controversial speech last month, Tunisia’s president accused sub-Saharan African migrants living in the country of causing a crime wave and described them as a demographic threat.

Kais Saied’s comments were widely criticized by the African Union and denounced as “racist hate speech” by human rights groups.

These comments have left some sub-Saharan Africans in Tunisia living in fear, with some saying they have seen an increase in racist incidents.

This has led some countries, like Ivory Coast and Guinea, to repatriate their citizens due to an increased climate of intolerance in Tunisia.

Tunisia’s economy is in a poor state, and is facing crisis after negotiations with the the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stalled.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has also warned that Tunisia urgently needs to reach a bailout deal with the IMF.

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