Tragic Fate: Fisherman Discovers Bodies of Drowned Immigrants Instead of Fish in Tunisia

Tragic Fate: Fisherman Discovers Bodies of Drowned Immigrants Instead of Fish in Tunisia

Shafaq News/ African immigrants seeking a better life in Europe often place their hopes on crossing the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean. However, for many, their dreams end in a tragic fate as they drown during their difficult journey.

One haunting image of this ongoing tragedy captures the moment a Tunisian fisherman casts his net into the sea, only to discover the lifeless bodies of drowned immigrants instead of a bountiful fish catch.

Osama Al-Dabibi, a 30-year-old fisherman, now plies his trade along the eastern coast of Tunisia, unsure of what his net will bring.

In a recent interview with the BBC, he shared his heart-wrenching experience of finding the bodies of 15 migrants entangled in his fishing nets in the waters near the city of Sfax within three days.

The most devastating discovery was that of a young infant's lifeless body, a sight that overwhelmed Osama with sorrow, causing him to shed tears in the face of such horror.

Having fished in these waters since the age of ten, Osama expressed that he had never witnessed tragedies of this magnitude before. He revealed that some of his fellow fishermen had sold their boats to smugglers who would utilize them for clandestine migrant transportation, enticed by lucrative sums of money.

However, Osama firmly refused to sell his boat, driven by the fear that someone onboard might meet a tragic end. He expressed, "I would never forgive myself."

The account of Osama Al-Dabibi serves as a poignant reminder of the immense risks undertaken by African immigrants in their quest for a better life while highlighting the humanitarian crisis that persists in the Mediterranean region.

According to newly released data from the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) Missing Migrants Project (MMP), nearly 3,800 people died on migration routes within and from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region last year (January-December 2022), the highest number since 2017 when 4,255 deaths were recorded.

The 3,789 deaths recorded in 2022 were 11 percent higher than the previous year.

The report said that the MENA region accounted for more than half of the total 6,877 deaths worldwide by the MMP, according to the new report.

On North African land routes, particularly during the dangerous Sahara Desert crossing, 203 deaths were recorded, while 825 deaths occurred on Middle Eastern land routes. Libya registered the highest number of deaths on land routes in North Africa, with 117 fatalities, followed by Algeria (54), Morocco (13), Tunisia (10), and Egypt (9).

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