The remains of five people were found Tuesday, near the border of Libya and Tunisia, where dozens of sub-Saharan migrants have been stranded for weeks without access to basic resources.
Tensions between the countries have been on the rise since Tunisia forcibly relocated migrants to the border regions, then bowed to pressure to bring a portion of them back, all amid a blistering heatwave that has pushed temperatures above 120°F in parts of the country.
For African migrants hoping to make the deadly Mediterranean crossing to Europe, Tunisia has become the main departure point. Last week, the country signed a $110 million deal with the EU “to address the migration issue” against the backdrop of allegations of human rights abuses, which advocacy groups fear will only worsen.
Meanwhile Italy, a primary destination for many African migrants, hosted a 1-day conference on migration on Sunday that human rights groups worry is a road map for anti-migrant policies that focus responsibilities on Africa instead of Europe.
For example, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is now being sued by the Department of Justice for his recent decision to install floating buoys with razor wire to “deter” migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande, even though a record number of people died crossing the US-Mexico border in 2022.