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Tunisia Detains 16 Involved in Illegal Migration Operations

Tunisian authorities announced today the apprehension of 16 individuals involved in organizing illegal migration operations in the Sfax governorate, located in the southern part of the country. A statement from the General Directorate of Tunisia’s National Guard revealed that security forces carried out operations in Sfax over the past 48 hours, resulting in the detention of 16 organizers and intermediaries of these smuggling endeavors. The statement further detailed that 19 metal vessels, used for unauthorized migration efforts, along with 5 transport vehicles intended for moving migrants to gathering locations and various sums of money in different currencies were seized.

The report also indicated that security authorities in the city of Tala, in the Kasserine region to the west, detained 4 individuals of African nationalities. These detainees were allegedly involved in assisting a group of citizens from Sub-Saharan African countries to covertly cross the Algerian-Tunisian land borders and transfer them to the capital city of Tunis. The statement added that the Public Prosecution authorized legal proceedings against them, without divulging further details. It’s noteworthy that for years, Tunisia’s borders have witnessed a significant influx of illegal migrants aiming to reach the southern coasts of European Union countries.

Tunisia, located in North Africa, shares its western borders with Algeria and eastern borders with Libya. Due to its strategic geographical position, the country often serves as a transit point for migrants from Africa aiming to reach Europe. The southern coasts of European Union countries, particularly Italy, are popular destinations for these migrants, making the Mediterranean Sea a common, albeit dangerous, route for such journeys. In recent years, there’s been an increasing effort from North African countries, in coordination with European nations, to curb the unauthorized movement of people across borders and ensure that migration occurs through legal and safer channels.

Source: SEE