New data published by the Italian Ministry of Interior showed a slowdown in the arrival of irregular migrants to Italy by the sea in May, as well as Libya bypassing Tunisia to become the top transit country from which clandestine migration boats launch.
During the first five months of the year 2023, Tunisia was the leading country from which migrant boats departed toward Italy according to Interior Ministry data reported by Italy's Agenzia Nova.
The total number of illegal arrivals to Italian coasts for the first six months of 2023 was 50,405, compared to 19,692 in the same period of 2022.
As of June 1, 25,937 migrants arrived in Italy from the Tunisian coast, at an average arrival rate of 172 people per day, an increase of 580% from the country compared to 3,818 arrivals in the same period last year.
22,662 migrants departed from Libya.
More than half of the new arrivals from Libya came from the Eastern region.
About 8,923 immigrants set sail on boats that departed from Western Libya, while 13,506 departed from the Eastern region.
The ministry’s data indicates that last month witnessed a slowdown in the number of arrivals to Italy at 7,492 people, compared to 8,720 people in May 2022.
The ministry attributed the decline to weather conditions and anti-smugglers activities in North Africa.