Tunisian Coast Guard and Army units (les unités de la garde maritime et de l’armée nationale) intercepted and rescued 222 people on board a migrant boat that left Libya and was attempting to sail to Italy. The incident occurred on Saturday, 14 May. The migrant boat was intercepted near Djerba and had reportedly made a distress call because it was taking on water. The people on board the boat were reportedly all sub-Saharan Africans and they have been taken to the Tunisian camp at Choucha (Shusha).
Tag Archives: Djerba
The Tunisian Interior Ministry released a communiqué reporting that authorities during the month of April recovered a total of 58 bodies that had been washed ashore. The bodies were mostly those of men and were found along beaches in Skhira, Chaffar, and Kerkennah, in the department of Sfax, and in Gabès, Djerba, and Mahdia. The dead are believed to be persons who attempted to reach Italy by boat.
Commissioners Cecilia Malmström and Stefan Füle are scheduled to travel to Tunisia 30 and 31 March to assess the situation at the refugee camps along the Tunisia-Libya border, including the camp near Djerba, and for discussions with Tunisian Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi and other officials. Among the topics to be discussed will be the Tunisian nationals who have come to Italy in recent weeks, but who are not in need of international protection and who therefore are likely to be sent back to Tunisia by Italy. Malmström will be discussing with the Tunisian transitional government how the returns could possibly be carried out.
“Non-Stop” Boat Arrivals Continue in Lampedusa; Maroni Says Libyan Smuggling Organisations Now Operating From Tunisia
Boats containing over 1000 Tunisians arrived in Lampedusa on Monday. The boats are reportedly leaving Tunisia from the southern coast from the port of Zarsis and the island of Djerba, an area near the border with Libya.
Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Monday that “we know that criminal organizations that operated by moving illegal immigrants from Libya have reappeared and are now repositioning themselves in the south of Tunisia. (“Al ministro dell’Interno Roberto Maroni che parla di altre ‘migliaia e migliaia di persone pronte a partire’ e lancia un allarme: ‘abbiamo notizia – spiega – che sono riapparse le organizzazioni criminali che operavano prima in Libia facendo partire i clandestini e che adesso si stanno riposizionando nel sud della Tunisia’.) Maroni said that “Italian intelligence had reported ‘thousands and thousands of young people’ heading for … Zarzis and Djerba, and that it would require a ‘significant commitment’ from EU countries to block their departure.”