In Tunisia, one of the main points of departure for migrants who want to reach Europe, 24 bodies of migrants were washed up by the sea at the end of April, after four boats capsized off the coast of Sfax. They are added to the 92 bodies of migrants received by the city morgue in recent months.
The bodies of 24 migrants who drowned after the sinking of their boats off the coast of central-eastern Tunisia were washed up in the sea at the end of April, we learned on Wednesday from a judicial source. From April 22 to 30, four boats from the coasts of the Sfax region capsized off this city. In total, the bodies of 24 migrants were washed up at sea after being initially missing, while 97 other people were rescued, Sfax court spokesman Mourad Turki told AFP. .
Bodies piled up on the ground “for lack of space”
The 24 bodies, including women and children, were transferred to the morgue of the regional hospital of Sfax, the only one to receive the remains of migrants who died in the region. The morgue has received in recent months 92 bodies of migrants who died at sea, all from sub-Saharan Africa, of which about forty “are piled up on the ground” for lack of space, lamented Mourad Turki.
According to him, the morgue has filled up because “there is no more room” to bury the bodies in the cemetery intended for migrants in the Sfax region.
2,000 migrants reported missing last year
Tunisia, one of the main points of departure for migrants who want to reach Europe illegally, has been struggling for years to bury the remains of candidates who have drowned. The majority of municipalities in the country refuse to take charge of the remains of migrants. Hundreds of migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, reach Tunisia with the aim of then reaching Europe, crossing the Mediterranean, most often piling up on makeshift boats.
Nearly 2,000 migrants were reported missing or drowned in the Mediterranean last year, compared to 1,401 in 2020, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).