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IN Tunisia which is fast-becoming the latest North African hotspot for migrants and asylum seekers trying to reach Europe last Wednesday Prime Minister Youssef Chahed fired Interior Minister Lotfi Brahem, after a boat carrying an estimated 180 people capsized off the coast.
At least 112 people are dead or missing in what is now the deadliest shipwreck this year in the Mediterranean. Off the Horn of Africa, another migrant boat disaster, this time on the perilous route to Yemen and the Gulf states from Somalia early in the month cost at least 60 lives.
These tragedies hit the headlines (well, some headlines) as news emerged that EU countries, including Austria, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands, are in advanced talks about setting up holding camps in a country that is not particularly attractive to migrants think Albania and Macedonia to process asylum seekers.
Such outsourcing or offshoring of EU migration policy has been floated before. French President Emmanuel Macron backtracked last year after suggesting Libya was a safe country for returns and that processing camps should be set up there, as well as in Niger and Chad.
Speaking of Libya, the UN Security Council slapped unprecedented sanctions last week on six human traffickers, including the head of a regional coast guard unit.