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Fresh reports reaching the desk of Africa Daily News, New York has revealed that the bodies of some eight migrants who had been thought to be Tunisians missing for two weeks have finally been recovered on Monday off the coast of the north African country.
“Sailors on Monday morning found eight bodies of migrants off Zarzis whose boat was thought to have sunk two weeks ago,” Mongi Slim, head of the Red Crescent in Medenine had revealed to newsmen.
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He had also revealed that some of the DNA samples have been taken in an attempt to identify the victims.
Tunisia is only about 130 kilometres (80 miles) from Italy’s Lampedusa island and it has also long been a good launching pad for numerous people who have been fleeing violence and poverty across the African continent and seeking some form of refuge in Europe.
The Local media had also reported that a makeshift boat which had been carrying 18 migrants including a baby had gone missing about 15 days ago and the Tunisian coastguards were continuing the search for survivors, the Red Crescent said.
According to official figures, more than 22,500 migrants have been intercepted off the Tunisian coast since the start of the year, around half of them from sub-Saharan Africa.
In another report, in response to the deaths of 23 African migrants who perished in a crush while attempting to enter the Spanish enclave of Melilla in northern Morocco, protests were conducted on Saturday in a number of Spanish cities as well as in Rabat.
Numerous protests against immigration policy and the ‘militarization of borders’ were held in Barcelona, Malaga, Vigo, San Sebastian, and Melilla itself.
In the Moroccan capital, a few dozen representatives of the Collective of Sub-Saharan Communities in Morocco and associations helping migrants demonstrated in front of parliament calling for Rabat to “stop playing the role of EU policeman”.
‘We demand an end to the migration policy funded by the European Union, the opening of an independent investigation and the return of the bodies to the families,’ activist Mamadou Diallo told reporters.