Nearly 70,000 migrants intercepted trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2023

Migrants deported by the Tunisian National Guard. Photo credit Sipa / Yassine Mahjoub

Nearly 70,000 migrants have been intercepted this year while attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Tunisia to Italy, more than double the number for the same period last year, a National Guard spokesman said on Saturday.

Along with Libya, Tunisia is the main departure point for thousands of migrants seeking to reach Europe.

Over eleven months, the number of would-be clandestine emigrants intercepted by the Tunisian authorities stood at 69,963, compared with 31,297 over the same period in 2022, according to charts provided by National Guard spokesman Houcem Eddine Jebabli.

Out of this total, 77.5% (54,224) were foreigners, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest Tunisians (15,739), compared with 59% foreign migrants in 2022 (18,363) versus 12,961 Tunisians.


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