"Europe Migrant Crisis: Boat Carrying Over 40 Sudanese Sinks off Tunisia's Coast"

At least 13 Sudanese migrants have died, and 27 others are missing after their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia, according to a Tunisian official.

Only two people on board survived, and search operations are underway for those missing, he added. This is the latest disaster to affect migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Africa to Europe.

Sudan plunged into civil war about 10 months ago, forcing at least nine million people to flee their homes. Most have sought refuge either in safer parts of the country or in neighboring states.

Following fighting between the army and a rival paramilitary force last April, some foreign governments, including the UK’s, evacuated their nationals trapped in Sudan.

According to the International Organization for Migration, more than 2,270 migrants died in 2023 while attempting to cross the central Mediterranean, marking a 60% increase from the previous year.

In 2023, the European Union (EU) signed a deal with Tunisia to address irregular migration. The deal includes $118m (£90m) to combat smuggling, strengthen borders, and facilitate the return of migrants.

The recent disaster occurred after the boat departed from Jebiniana, a small town near the city of Sfax. Farid Ben Jha, a judicial spokesman in the Tunisian city of Monastir, stated that an investigation is underway into the incident.

He suggested that the migrants were likely exploited in a human trafficking case or involved in the formation of a criminal group to illegally reach Europe, as reported by the AFP news agency.

Piers Potter


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