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Tunisia: twenty Senegalese migrants still missing

Tunisia: twenty Senegalese migrants still missing
Tunisian migrants gesture as they sail on a wooden boat, helped by crew members...   -  
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Francisco Seco/Copyright 2022 The AP


Dakar is seeking to identify the remains of "about twenty" Senegalese who drowned at the end of March in the sinking of their boat off Tunisia, said an official statement on Monday.

A Senegalese mission went to Sfax, the starting point in central-eastern Tunisia of the shipwrecked boat, for a mission to identify the bodies, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For the moment, "none of the remains recovered by the Tunisian coast guard corresponds to our compatriots" missing in this shipwreck which occurred "on the night of March 23 to 24 off the Mediterranean", indicates the ministry, which does not indicate the number of bodies.

The Senegalese embassy in Tunis "will remain in permanent contact with the (Tunisian) authorities and the Tunisian Red Crescent to monitor the recovery and identification of victims", the statement added.

Several dozen migrants have died in a series of shipwrecks and others have been missing since President Kais Saied 's violent speech on February 21 on illegal immigration.

After this speech, a significant part of the 21,000 nationals of sub-Saharan Africa officially registered in Tunisia, most of them in an irregular situation, lost their jobs, which are generally informal, and their housing overnight, as a result of the campaign against the illegals.

Most African migrants arrive in Tunisia to then attempt to illegally immigrate from Europe by sea, with some stretches of Tunisia's coastline being within 150 kilometers of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

In mid-March, Dakar had repatriated 76 compatriots from Tunisia and neighbouring Libya after the words of the Tunisian leader.

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