North African countries have witnessed attempts by migrants to reach Europe for years
Tunisia said Thursday that it foiled 88 attempts by irregular migrants to cross the Mediterranean into Europe in the last three days.
The Tunisian National Guard said it apprehended 1,128 people, including 543 migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, who were trying to cross Tunisian coastal borders into Europe.
It said National Guard and Coast Guard units thwarted 55 irregular migration attempts off the shores of Nabeul in the northeast and 33 attempts from the southern province of Sfax.
Sfax is a main route for illegal migrants trying to cross from Tunisia into Europe.
Tunisian authorities announce almost every week the foiling of migration attempts through its shores toward Europe.
The announcements are seen as trying to pressure the European Union to offer additional support to Tunisia to curb the waves of irregular migration.
President Kais Saied rejected a financial aid offer Monday of €127 million ($134 million) from the EU to support the country’s efforts to curb the flow of migration from its shores. He said it contradicts the bloc’s previous agreement with Tunisia to secure the border.
North African countries such as Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania and Morocco have witnessed attempts for years by migrants — mainly from sub-Saharan Africa — to reach Europe.
More than 37,000 irregular migrants were arrested in 2022, according to Tunisian authorities.