More than 11,196 sub-Saharan migrants disembark from Tunisia to Lampedusa in 4 days


According to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, more than 7,000 migrants landed on the island of Lampedusa in the space of 24 hours on Friday 15 September.

Some 11,196 people are thought to have landed illegally on the island in 4 days, bringing the total to over 30,000 migrants since the beginning of August.

According to the newspaper, they arrived mainly from Tunisia, from the island of Sfax, and from Libya. Since the beginning of the year, Sfax has been the epicentre of attempts to cross the Mediterranean illegally from the Tunisian coast, the closest point being less than 130 kilometres from the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The town of Sfax is also the scene of clashes between locals and sub-Saharans, and has witnessed police raids leading migrants to a no-man’s-land between Tunisia and Libya, where many lost their lives last summer.

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These migrants are said to have paid no entry fees to the smugglers, which suggests the involvement of one or more powers in this migratory imbroglio.

To continue, the inhabitants of the 20 square kilometre island are angry at the massive influx of migrants, who are already blocking all existing projects on the island.

On the European side, Ursula von der Leyen has already proposed an emergency plan to help Italy, which has neither the logistical nor administrative resources to deal with the situation on Lampedusa. In particular, she has detailed a plan to improve the distribution of asylum seekers between European countries.

In France, Emmanuel Macron called for a humanitarian solution and European solidarity, while Gerald Darmanin said that the country was not ready to receive the entire influx of migrants.

Belgium, under the aegis of the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum, Nicole de Moor, told the Belga news agency that Belgium was not prepared to receive some of the migrants from Lampedusa.

She said: “We have a shortage of reception places and we are doing everything we can to make them available to those who report to us in Belgium. At present, as a country, we cannot give a positive response to ad hoc relocations.”

Image Credit : Infomigrants

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