13 dead, 27 missing after Sudan migrants boat sinks in Tunisia coast

Thursday February 08 2024

Migrants of African origin trying to flee to Europe crammed on board of a small boat as Tunisian coast guards prepare to transfer them onto their vessel at sea between Tunisia and Italy on August 10, 2023. PHOTO | AFP


The bodies of 13 Sudanese migrants have been recovered and 27 others are missing after a boat sank on Wednesday off the coast of Tunisia having set off from Sfax, a Tunisian judicial official said on Thursday.

The boat was carrying 42 people, all of them Sudanese, and two people were rescued, Judge Farid Ben Jha said.

Tunisia replaced Libya as North Africa's main departure point for people fleeing poverty and conflict elsewhere in Africa and across the Middle East in the hope of a better life in Europe.

Read: 'We are dying': Migrants' plea from Libya-Tunisia border

The country has seen a record wave of migration since last year, with frequent catastrophes involving boats sinking off its coast as they carry migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa hoping to reach Italy.

In 2023 the Tunisian coast guard recovered the bodies of nearly 1,000 migrants drowned off its coast, Tunisian officials said, more than in any other year.


Tunisians have also been among those trying to make the crossing. About 40 Tunisian migrants wet missing last month after setting off in a boat towards Italy.