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HomeE.U.EU to disburse $135 mln to Tunisia to reduce migration

EU to disburse $135 mln to Tunisia to reduce migration

The European Commission on Friday announced 127 million euros ($135 million) for Tunisia as part of an agreement with the country aimed at combating illegal immigration from Africa to Europe, according to Reuters.

According to the Commission, 60 million euros will be allocated to Tunisia as budgetary support, Also in the coming days, a package worth about 67 million euros will be allocated to strengthen Tunisia’s capacity to fight human traffickers and strengthen border control.

The EU and Tunisia signed a “strategic partnership” agreement in July to fight illegal migration in exchange for financial support during a surge in the number of ships travelling from the North African state to Europe.

The latest financial package will help refurbish search and rescue vessels, vehicles and other equipment for Tunisia’s coast guard and navy, according to a statement from the Commission.

It would also help with the protection of migrants in Tunisia in cooperation with the U.N. and returns of migrants to their countries of origin, the statement said. The Commission added:

“The provision of new vessels, thermal cameras and other operational assistance, coupled with the necessary training, are also foreseen.”

In July, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen made a statement that the agreement with Tunisia could serve as a model for agreements with other countries as the EU tries to stem the uncontrolled flow of migrants across the Mediterranean.

However, the deal has been criticised by some EU lawmakers, Tunisian opposition figures and human rights activists. They argue that the deal will not curb migration but will strengthen the government of President Qais Said, whom they accuse of authoritarian rule.

Saied seized wide-ranging powers in 2021, shutting down parliament before passing a new constitution that gives him near-total authority. He has said his actions were legal, and necessary to save Tunisia from chaos and rampant corruption. ($1 = 0.9401 euros)

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