Illegal migration: Over 800 Tunisians reached Italian coast in 2016 (report)
05/06/2017 14:37, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP)- Some 820 Tunisians managed to illegally join the Italian coasts in 2016 against 569 in 2015, an increase of 45%, indicates a recent report.

According to the annual report on irregular migration published on June 3 by the Maghreb Observatory of Migrations stemming from the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), the number of attempts at irregular immigration has tripled in one year to 75 attempts in 2016 against 25 attempts in 2015.

Following the events of the Revolution of January 14, 2011, Tunisia experienced a large wave of illegal migration towards the Italian coast. According to the FTDES, the number of illegal migrants from the Tunisian coast is estimated at more than 25 thousand people, while the number of missing Tunisians is 503 people.

Most irregular migration operations have taken place from Sfax (37%), Nabeul (27%), Monastir (14%) and Mahdia (11%), the same source said.

Less than 25% of all migrants were intercepted during the first half of 2016, compared with a significant increase in the second half (75%).

Less than 25% of all migrants were intercepted during the first half of 2016, compared with a significant increase in the second half (75%).

The migratory flow reached a peak during the autumn season with 288 people attempting to reach the Italian coast in September, an increase of 208% compared to the same period in 2015. During the months of the fourth quarter, the number has declined but remains high compared to the beginning of the year. This variation in the rate of attempts is due, according to the report, to the weather and the state of the Mediterranean Sea.

Males make up the majority of migrants with 97% last year, compared with 3% of females. Tunisians remain a minority (31%) compared to the total number of illegal migrants, mostly of sub-Saharan origin.

The rate of foreign migrants leaving the Tunisian coasts remains relatively low (7%), the report emphasises.

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