Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

The number of irregular migrants arriving in Italy from Tunisia decreased last May, according to a report published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Migrants.

This decline came after a massive security campaign launched by the Tunisian authorities to pursue irregular migrants on its territory, which sparked criticism from human rights organizations.

The report indicated that the number of irregular migrants arriving to Europe during the month of May from Tunisia, Libya, Turkey, and Algeria amounted to about 4,700 migrants, which is the same number recorded last April.

The report pointed out that Tunisia is no longer the main departure point for irregular migrants towards Europe, as Libya topped the list of countries through which migrants pass this month.

The report indicated that the majority of irregular migrants who arrived in Europe in May were from sub-Saharan African countries, Tunisia, Syria, and Egypt, and the Italian island of Lampedusa was the first destination for 70% of these migrants, who set out from Libya.

There are several factors that contributed to this noticeable decline, as the General Administration of the Tunisian Gendarmerie announced that it prevented nearly twenty thousand immigrants from entering Italy via the Mediterranean during the first months of the current year.

Tunisia benefited from European and Italian support to strengthen its naval operations to combat irregular migration, in addition to extensive campaigns to dismantle camps for irregular migrants, especially in Sfax Governorate, and deport them across the Algerian or Libyan borders or to their countries of origin.

The security campaigns carried out by the Tunisian authorities sparked widespread criticism from human rights organizations, which criticized the strict security approach.

Media reports indicated that irregular migrants were deported in difficult humanitarian conditions through the Libyan desert.

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