Tunis, 25 Feb. An anti-racism march has taken to the streets of Tunisia’s capital today in support of sub-Saharan migrants who have been victims of a hate campaign since President Kais Said branded the group a demographic threat to the country.
“Down with fascism, Tunisia is Africa” and “Kais Saïd, coward, our mother is Africa, don’t be offended” were some of the chants heard during the demonstration, in which at least two thousand people participated, called by civil society and applauded from the balconies by the affected population, who these days are afraid to leave their homes.
The president’s statements last Wednesday, coinciding with a massive campaign of arrests of undocumented migrants, sparked a wave of hatred and attacks in the streets and on social media against the country’s black population, including Tunisians. .
There is a “criminal enterprise born at the dawn of this century to change the demographic composition of Tunisia and there are parties that have received large sums of money since 2011 to settle migrants in Tunisia” and scramble its “Arab-Muslim” character, he added. said in a speech the President
This remark, compared to the conspiracy theory of the “Great Replacement”, was followed by an upsurge in attacks against sub-Saharans which led Saïd to qualify his remarks and yesterday the Tunisian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nabil Ammar, to organize a meeting with the ambassadors of countries south of the Sahara to try to calm the situation.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, today condemned “strongly the shocking form and content of the communiqué issued by the Tunisian authorities against their African compatriots”.
The AU reminded Tunisia that as a member of the organization it has an obligation to “treat all migrants with dignity, wherever they come from, to refrain from any hate speech racial discrimination that could harm people and to prioritize their safety and human rights”.
The Association of African Students and Academics in Tunisia (AESAT) has asked its members not to attend classes these days, after recording at least 40 arrests of students with residence permits and after numerous harassment complaints.
The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), an NGO which monitors the migratory phenomenon in this North African country, denounced in mid-February the arrest of at least 300 people within the framework of an operation entitled “Strengthening the security fabric and reducing the phenomenon of illegal residence in Tunisia”.
Twenty human rights organizations urged to settle the administrative status of sub-Saharan migrants on Tunisian territory, more than 21,000, according to the latest study by the National Institute of Statistics in 2021.
“European border externalization policies have contributed for years to making Tunisia a key player in monitoring migration routes in the Mediterranean, including the interception of migrant boats outside territorial waters and their transfer to Tunisia. “, contextualized the NGO.
For those stranded in the North African country, many of whom want to return due to the tense situation, the problem now is the inability to pay the cost of the fine they incurred while there. irregular.
Said, who has ruled with full powers since July 2021, this week urged the National Security Council to take “urgent action” to tackle irregular migration. EFE
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