Ivory Coast authorities on Thursday evacuated nearly 290 of their nationals in Tunisia, where statements by President Kais Saied in which he strongly criticized irregular migration cast a shadow over the presence of many migrants from Africa in the country.

Ivory Coast's ambassador to Tunisia, Ibrahim Si Savanni, told AFP that 287 people, including 266 elderly people and 21 children, had been flown to Abidjan on a chartered plane from the Ethiopian company.

This brings to 1053,2896 the number of migrants from that country returned from Tunisia since the beginning of March, according to the ambassador, among <>,<> people who have registered on embassy lists for voluntary return to their country.

On February 21, President Saied strongly criticized the presence of "hordes" of illegal immigrants in Tunisia, considering them a source of "violence and crime" whose presence aims to "change the demographic composition" of the country, as he described it.

Muhajireen reported that after President Saied's remarks, attacks against them increased and hundreds rushed to their embassies to arrange repatriation.

Tunisia is estimated to have at least 7,<> migrants, the largest number among other sub-Saharan African nationals, thanks to visa-free visa-free.

From Tunisia to Europe

The majority of African migrants arrive in Tunisia and then try irregularly to cross the Mediterranean Sea towards the European coast, where the Tunisian coast is separated from the Italian island of Lampedusa by an estimated distance of about 150 kilometers.

At least three fatal maritime incidents involving boats carrying migrants, including a large number from Côte d'Ivoire, have been recorded since the beginning of the month off the eastern coast of Tunis.

Today, the Tunisian Coast Guard announced that it had thwarted off the coast of the cities of Sfax and Cheba (east) 30 migrations, and 2034,9 migrants, including 7 Tunisians, were arrested, and <> bodies of migrants from sub-Saharan African countries were recovered.

Tunisia, whose coast is less than 150 kilometres from the Italian island of Lampedusa, regularly sees attempts to leave migrants for Italy.