Thousands of Tunisians from the city of Sfax have created terror in the city after the death of a Tunisian following an altercation with a sub-Saharan migrant. Violence against sub-Saharans and calls to drive them out of the country have erupted in a country that increasingly rejects foreigners.
The violence and the racist anti-black wave in Tunisia are gaining momentum since the racist statements of Tunisian President Kais Saied, in search of popularity in his country.
A man was stabbed to death by an irregular sub-Saharan migrant in Sakiet Eddaïer. Locals took to the streets in anger. The road linking Sfax to Mahdia has been blocked and tires burned to close road traffic, Tunisian media report.
Crying scandal after the death of one of their own, the demonstrators called on the state to expel all illegal sub-Saharan migrants.
The country’s authorities complied and arrested several sub-Saharan migrants whose number has not been communicated. These migrants were transferred to the National Security headquarters in Sfax pending the taking of appropriate measures against them.
Tunisia has experienced in recent months a resurgence of violence and racist hatred against black Africans, whether irregular migrants or residents in good standing.
This increase in racism can be explained by uninhibited racist remarks made by the Tunisian President, Kais Saied against sub-Saharans in February to revive an ultra-nationalist feeling.
He had said that these people were part of a “plot” to change the demographic composition of the country, whose culture is mainly “Arab-Muslim”.
Following these openly racist remarks, part of the Tunisian population took the insurance to be their own “vigilante”. Immediately, physical and verbal attacks against African migrants were launched in the streets causing a feeling of insecurity for families and young students.
Many black Africans went to their respective embassies to request their repatriation. There are an estimated 20,000 sub-Saharan migrants in Tunisia, which has a population of 12 million.
This situation in Tunisia is not unprecedented in North Africa since Algeria is pursuing an anti-sub-Saharan migrant policy that is less publicized because of the media blockade in the country. Sub-Saharan refugees and survivors who managed to reach Morocco have testified to the inhuman conditions they experienced in the Algerian desert.
Morocco is the only country in North Africa to have adopted a policy of welcoming migrants that is human and respectful of human rights, in accordance with the high royal guidelines, by implementing a humanist, inclusive and united migration strategy.
The Moroccan national strategy also facilitates for migrants present on Moroccan territory access to the health system, access to education and training, access to housing, but also to employment.