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Migrant Deaths Escalate off Tunisian and Djiboutian Coasts

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louis Buyisiwe

Apr 23, 2024

The Tunisian coast guard reported the recovery of 19 bodies of migrants attempting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa

y Ethiopians including children, represents the second such disaster in the area in just two weeks. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) highlighted the frequency of such incidents, as tens of thousands from the Horn of Africa, particularly Ethiopians and Somalis, embark on dangerous voyages through Djibouti aiming for Gulf countries.
This latest incident underscores the ongoing risks faced by those crossing the Mediterranean

April 23, 2024, in a harrowing continuation of the migrant crisis facing Africa, recent capsizings off the coasts of Tunisia and Djibouti have resulted in significant loss of life, shedding light on the perilous journeys many undertake in search of a better life.


The Tunisian coast guard reported the recovery of 19 bodies of migrants attempting to reach the Italian island of Lampedusa, marking a grim tally of nearly 200 migrant deaths in the region within the first four months of this year alone. This latest incident underscores the ongoing risks faced by those crossing the Mediterranean, a route often characterized by desperate measures and unsafe vessels.


Simultaneously, a devastating episode off the coast of Djibouti has compounded the tragedy, with 21 migrants pronounced dead and another 23 missing after their boat capsized. This vessel, carrying 77 people, predominantly Ethiopians including children, represents the second such disaster in the area in just two weeks.


The International Organization for Migration (IOM) highlighted the frequency of such incidents, as tens of thousands from the Horn of Africa, particularly Ethiopians and Somalis, embark on dangerous voyages through Djibouti aiming for Gulf countries.


The survivors, along with the deceased, were retrieved by the IOM and local authorities, who emphasize the dire conditions and increasing dangers of these journeys. "These numbers have been increasing over the past few months," stated Tanja Pacifico, head of IOM’s Djiboutian office.

She further noted the unusual occurrence of multiple shipwrecks in such a short period, with the previous incident claiming the lives of 38, including children.


As the international community watches, these continuing tragedies highlight the urgent need for comprehensive solutions to manage and mitigate the risks faced by migrants, who are often driven by deep-seated economic and safety concerns in their home countries.

The ongoing crisis serves as a stark reminder of the human cost of migration and the perilous paths many take in pursuit of hope and a new beginning.



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