Sub-Saharan African migrants five in number drowned, and five more are missing after their vessel capsized while traveling to Europe from Tunisia, as reported by local authorities on Saturday. The Tunisian coastguard saved approximately twenty individuals from the Mediterranean, as stated by Faouzi Masmoudi, the district attorney from the port city of Sfax.
Boats are still searching the waters near Sfax for possible survivors, Masmoudi added. Some parts of the Tunisian coastline are located less than 90 miles from the Italian island of Lampedusa, making it a popular starting point for migrants hoping to cross the perilous sea.
More than 23,500 migrants of various nationalities were intercepted off the coast of Tunisia between January and September of last year, according to the FTDES rights group that monitors migration issues. Additionally, over 500 individuals died or went missing at sea during the same period, according to the group.
The Tunisian coastguard is under pressure to reduce the number of migrants but lacks the resources to do so, according to Tunisian authorities. The central Mediterranean route, which also includes departures from neighboring Libya, is considered the most deadly migration pathway in the world.