The Italian Interior Ministry said that Libya exceeded Tunisia in the number of immigrants arriving on Italian shores, becoming the first transit country from which "secret immigration boats leave."

According to the statistics that were published by Nova news agency, Tunisia was, during the first five months of 2023, a the top of the list of countries from which illegal immigration boats departed towards Italy, but then the arrivals from Libya - which was the first transit country in 2022 - went up fast in the past four weeks.

According to the Italian Ministry of Interior, the total number of illegal immigration arrivals to the Italian coast since the beginning of 2023 reached 50,405 immigrants, a significant increase compared to 19,692 arrivals in the same period in 2022 - 334 arrivals per day.

It said that last May saw a decrease in the number of arrivals to Italy compared to last year, with the arrival of 7,492 people in the last 30 days, compared to 8,720 in May 2022, adding that this was a result of bad weather and anti-smugglers activities in North Africa. The Interior Ministry indicated that there were 1,554 people who set sail from Tunisia and 5,825 from Libya, which made Libya top the list in recent weeks in terms of the number of immigrants crossing its shores toward southern Italy.

Nova news agency said that the first five months of the year, the Libyan immigration route ranked second after Tunisia, after a total of 22,662 illegal immigrants arrived until June, which was double the number of arrivals in the same period last year: (10,986). More than half of the new arrivals depart from eastern Libya, which is controlled by Khalifa Haftar, with the support of the mercenaries of the Russian Wagner Group. About 8,923 immigrants sailed on boats that departed from the coasts of the western region at the beginning of the year, while 13,506 immigrants left from eastern shores.

Italy fears that with the advent of the summer and the improvement of weather conditions, illegal immigration will continue with the massive numbers recorded in the months of March and April of this year (13,267 and 14,507 arrivals), which also increases the risk of drowning at sea that increased to over a thousand immigrants, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).