• Ottawa, Canada


Italy’s hands have been full recently with boatloads of illegal Tunisian immigrants landing on the Sicilian island of Lampedusa, near North Africa. The island has nearly doubled in population with more than 4,000 migrants seeking work.

Even since the Jan. 14 revolt in Tunisia, which led to the abdication of authoritarian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the Tunisian situation has not improved, according to the migrants. The Tunisian military is incapable of stopping the outflow, yet the foreign ministry was appalled by the offer of assistance from Italian police.

Many want Italy to protect these migrants and criticize its slow action, but the Italian government needs more cooperation from the European Union and Tunisia itself to coordinate this humanitarian emergency.

Italy alone is incapable of organizing all the flights needed to send Tunisians seeking work to the mainland, especially if they are to be sent to the rest of Europe. Analysts believe the revolts in North Africa may cause even more havoc by increasing migration issues. The confusion in Lampedusa may be the tip of the iceberg in Euro-African immigration policy.

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