As the death toll rises, Tunisia rescues 41 migrants who have drowned
According to a national guard spokesman on Friday, the Coast Guard has recovered 41 dead from Tunisian waters, bringing the total number of migrants killed in shipwrecks off the country’s coast to 210 in 10 days.
According to Houssem Eddine Jebabli, the remains were in a deteriorated state, indicating that they had been in the water for several days. He claimed that the total number of fatalities over such a brief time was unparalleled.
The number of boats carrying migrants seeking to cross into Italy from Tunisia has increased significantly in recent months, in part because of a clampdown on departures by authorities in Libya. The majority of these migrants are from sub-Saharan Africa, Syria, and Sudan.
Some mortuaries are running out of room to bury the victims as the nation struggles to contain the surge.
The bodies of migrants who died while undertaking the risky sea voyage from Tunisia to Europe are reportedly filling mortuaries and hospitals in the key launchpad city of Sfax.
“On Tuesday, we had more than 200 bodies, well beyond the capacity of the hospital, which creates a health problem,” said Faouzi Masmoudi, a justice official in the port city where the primary mortuary for an area of almost a million people is situated.
There is a problem with the vast quantity of bodies that are washing up on the shore. We have no idea who they are or what shipwreck they sprang from, yet they are proliferating.
In an effort to lessen the pressure on hospitals, funerals are held “almost every day,” according to Masmoudi.
On April 20, at least 30 people were laid to rest. Numerous other bodies were discovered at sea a few days later. He said that DNA swabs are taken from each deceased before burial to help identify any potential relatives.
As of April 24, this year, there have been more than 220 documented deaths and disappearances. According to Romdhane Ben Amor of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, or FTDES, the majority of them are from sub-Saharan Africa.
He claims that more than 75% of the migrants who escape Tunisia do so from the shore 90 kilometers north of Sfax.