Sfax Coast: A shipwreck off the coast of Tunisia leaves 76 migrants missing | International

A total of 76 migrants who set out from the beaches of Zawara, in Libya, have disappeared off the coast of Sfax, in central-eastern Tunisia, after the boat they were traveling in sank. A hundred people were traveling on the ship, of whom 24 have been rescued, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), a UN agency, in information released by the Reuters agency.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has become one of the main departure points for migrants to Europe. And the route from its shores to the European continent, in the deadliest in the world. The human trafficking industry has also burst into Tunisia for more than five years. In 2020, Tunisia equaled Libya as the main point of departure for migrants to Italy, according to the Italian government. Those who depart from the Tunisian coast are usually mostly Tunisians and Sub-Saharans.

The big difference between Libya and Tunisia when it comes to irregular migration is that in Libya migrants often go through an appalling ordeal: they are often imprisoned, extorted and treated like slaves.

Dozens of people have died in recent months trying to cross the Mediterranean. In July 2021, 43 people drowned on a boat carrying 84 people and which also departed from the Libyan city of Zawara, near the border with Tunisia. In November 2020, 74 migrants lost their lives and 47 were rescued, after setting sail from the Libyan city of Khoms.

The agency Missing Migrants (Missing Migrants), belonging to the United Nations and dedicated to documenting deaths and disappearances, points out that in 2021 the Mediterranean route was the deadliest with 2,048 deaths, followed by the Africa route (1,488; of them, 1,109 on the Canary route ), America (1,248), East Asia (779), Europe (133), and West Asia (99).

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