Tunisian Navy Finds Dozens of Bodies Off Coast

The Tunisian navy has recovered 31 bodies off the coast of the North African country. Among them are also two children, a spokesman said on Monday.

The lifeless bodies were found in various places, including the coastal towns of Sfax and Mahdia. The victims are believed to be people from Sub-Saharan Africa. However, it is unclear whether they are victims of a boat that would have run into problems.

According to the NGO Forum tunisien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (FTDES), 200 people have already died this year in boat accidents off the Tunisian coast.

Some parts of the Tunisian coastline are less than 150 kilometres from the Italian island of Lampedusa. Tunisia, therefore often registers departure attempts by migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan African countries, towards Italy.

Attempts to leave have increased following a speech by Tunisian President Kais Saied at the end of February, in which he criticized illegal migration. After the speech, a large part of the 21,000 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa counted in Tunisia lost jobs and homes overnight due to a campaign against illegal immigrants.

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