IOM: Up to 600 missing at sea in 3 months in Central Med

Tunisia, May 26 / BNA / The International Organization for Migration said that up to 600 people trying to reach Europe by sea from Tunisia and Libya went missing during the first three months of 2022, the highest number since 2014.

In the latest tragedy, according to the Tunisian authorities, a wooden boat carrying more than 100 people capsized in the early hours of Tuesday morning near the island of Kerkennah, southeast of Tunisia, due to bad weather.

On Wednesday, the International Organization for Migration said 30 people had been rescued from that boat, but 75 were still missing.

On Thursday, Tunisian navy and coast guard units continued to comb the area where the tragedy occurred.

Dozens of migrants fell into the water on Wednesday as they struggled to hold onto an overturned boat off the coast of Tunisia. The NGO “Open Arms” rescued about 110 people.

Alice Cerrone, Head of Migrant Protection at the International Organization for Migration, said the migration route in the central Mediterranean, which runs between Libya and Tunisia via the sea, remains particularly deadly.

“In addition to our humanitarian role in caring for survivors in terms of accommodation and food, we are committed to strengthening the capacity of the Tunisian authorities to assist the distressed boats,” Sironi said.

According to Mourad Turki, a spokesman for the courts of Sfax, the region’s capital, only one body has been found so far from Tuesday’s coup, indicating there is little hope of finding survivors.

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“In general, it takes several days to wash bodies by sea,” Turki told The Associated Press.

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