A solidarity rally with the victims of the migrant boat that sank off Kerkannah and their families was organised Friday afternoon at the Fontaine des innocents in Paris (France), on the initiative of more than 40 Tunisian and Maghreb associations.
A makeshift boat sank Saturday, June 2, 2018, off the islands of Kerkennah (Sfax governorate) killing 75 people (until Thursday afternoon). 68 people were saved.
At least 200 irregular migrants were aboard the boat.
Close relatives of the victims and young migrants were present at this rally. They observed a minute of silence in memory of the victims.
Faisan Sboui, brother of the victim Rafik Sboui, does not hide his anger. He deplores the state’s policy towards unemployed youth.
“Poverty and unemployment push Tunisians to leave the country and perish in the sea,” Faisal regrets adding, “my brothers and sisters graduates have all been unemployed for years.”
Based in France, Faisal Sboui recommends that young people do not take the risk of crossing the Mediterranean in makeshift boats. “Irregular migration is not a solution, it is up to the state to solve the problem to protect Tunisian youth against the risk of irregular emigration or suicide,” added Faisal.
Wadii Chnaiber, brother of the victim Anis Chaniber, who was seized with emotion, said: “the desperation pushed my brother aged 19 with fourteen other young people from the city of El Hamma (Gabes) to opt for this risky choice.”
Wadii shows with sadness the Facebook page of his brother, where he published June 1, the day before the tragedy: “the country leaves no room for reflection: either migration or drugs.”
For migrant activist Abdallah Zniber, it’s a moment of pain. “We are living a serious moment in the history of migration. The Mediterranean, which has always been a sea of exchange of cultures and civilisations has turned into a huge cemetery in the 21st century,” the activist criticised.
Mourad Allal, from the Committee for the respect of freedoms and human rights in Tunisia (CRLDHT), expresses his solidarity with the families of the victims and denounces “national and international policies that push young people to perish in the boats of death.”