At least 29 migrants have died after at least two boats sank off Tunisia’s coast within hours of each other, officials say.
The sub-Saharan migrants were trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Italy.
It is the latest in a string of migrant boat capsizes off Tunisia’s coast in the last few days, with five others sinking in the past four days.
This comes after Tunisia launched a campaign against undocumented African migrants.
Meanwhile, Italian officials on the island of Lampedusa say they are overwhelmed, after a record 2,500 migrants arrived in the last 24 hours.
The Italian far-right Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, has warned Europe risks seeing a huge wave of refugees arriving on its shores.
Tunisia has become a hub for migrants who wish to make it to Europe, with UN figures showing at least 12,000 migrants who landed on Italy’s shores this year left from Tunisia. That figure was just 1,300 in the same time period 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, according to the Reuters news agency. 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 criticised 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.
- Supreme Court dismisses land ownership claim by Teshie family
- Ghana branded ambulance found in Dubai in viral video not for sale – National Ambulance Service
- Cattle and sheep easier to control than Nigerians – Buhari
- Independent Power Producers reject government bid to restructure $1.58bn debt
- Attorney General asks Speaker to declare Assin North seat vacant
- T-bills auction: Government fails to meet target again; interest rates still surging
- I didn’t insult you – Mahama responds to Nana Akomea
- Legon Cities drag Hearts of Oak into relegation dogfight
- Let’s unite to remove E-levy, Covid-19 levy – Ablakwa urges MPs
- IMF deal: Government to reduce public sector compensations by 0.5%
- BoG interventions to restore confidence in financial sector not enough – Dr. Atuahene
- Pita Limjaroenrat: Thai election upstart who vows to be different
- Uganda’s President Museveni approves tough new anti-gay law
- Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour: An intergalactic explosion of fun
- Group calls for help to save Keta Kɔlebu Market
- 10 signs you’re in a toxic relationship with your job
- If these 5 things are happening, your relationship is already over
- Men who smile at women are sexist, says Science
- The IMF programme has been designed with an extension in mind – Prof Bokpin
- IMF deal: There is a lot of pain; government must first calm the market – Prof Bokpin
- Government should have called a national meeting before announcing 0.5% compensation reduction -Labour expert
- Hohoe gets new ultra modern market, traders commend Municipal Assembly
- GIZ support: Over 400 young entrepreneurs receive startup tools to build and grow their business
- Otumfuo destools chief of Asante’s famous Antoa town
- From Eric’s Diary: A scammer’s hi