An African migrant (C), who was rescued after the boat he was travelling capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Tunisian Coast, sits inside a local Red Crescent chapter in Zarzis, Tunisia July 4, 2019. The boat sank after the group set out from Zuwara in Libya, the Red Crescent and government sources confirmed on Thursday. Photo: REUTERS/Stringer.

JOHANNESBURG – One of four African survivors rescued by the Tunisian coast guard, after dozens of others perished when their boat capsized off the Tunisian coast as they were trying to reach Europe, has died in hospital.

The boat sank off the town of Zarzis on Wednesday after the group set out from Zuwara in Libya, the Red Crescent and government sources confirmed on Thursday.

At least 65 migrants heading for Europe from Libya drowned in May when their boat capsized off Tunisia.

African refugees hoping to reach Europe use Libya’s west coast as a main point of departure. Many of the unseaworthy boats they travel in, run by human traffickers, have overturned at sea leading to hundreds of deaths.

An Italian-led effort, in conjunction with the Libyan coast guard, to disrupt the smuggling networks has led to a drop in the numbers of people trying to reach Europe.

However, there are fears that the ongoing instability and fighting in Libya could fuel further attempts to flee the continent and reach Europe.

African News Agency (ANA)