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When fear haunts African migrants

Following the statements of Tunisian President Kais Saied, African migrants in Tunisia “ live in fear“. According to the Belgian daily The evening“, Kais Saied sees in their presence a plot to transform the demographic composition of the country“.

In an article titled ” Sub-Saharans traumatized by the words of the Head of State“, “ The evening reports that since the middle of the week, sub-Saharan migrants have become almost invisible on the streets of the suburbs of Tunis, where most of the capital’s sub-Saharans reside.

Since the publication last Tuesday of a press release from the Presidency of the Republic at the end of a National Security Council, calling for “urgent measures against illegal immigration, the correspondent of the Belgian newspaper in Tunis reports that ” African students are deserting classes. They remain holed up in their homes, for fear of both arrests and assaults“, reporting a “ escalation of violence towards sub-Saharan nationals.

Thus, President Kais Saied described the migration phenomenon “ in a rhetoric borrowed from the theory of the + great replacement +“, calling for strict application of the law, underlines The eveningrecalling that these remarks were denounced as “ hateful and racist” by the presidency of the African Union.

In addition, the publication indicates that the vision of the Tunisian head of state seems largely inspired by a “report “that a micro-party, the Tunisian National Party, sent to him, at the origin of a petition asking”the expulsion of the colony of sub-Saharan migrants “.

According to the Belgian daily, this xenophobic violence prolongs a wave of checks and arrests by the police across the country, specifying that the week preceding the presidential declaration, more than 300 migrants were arrested, according to the figures from the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES).

This repressive turn against migrants in a xenophobic atmosphere, continues The eveningcomes as five opponents of Kais Saied, arrested during the week, were placed on Saturday under arrest warrant by the counter-terrorism judicial unit, ” auguring an increasingly repressive turn “.

Thus, between 21,000 and 59,000 Sub-Saharans reside in Tunisia, either as students or on a migratory route to Europe interrupted by the obstacles to crossing the Mediterranean, according to sources from the Belgian newspaper.

As a reminder, Kais Saied chaired, on February 21, “a meeting of the National Security Council “devoted to the urgent measures that must be taken to deal with the arrival in Tunisia of a large number of illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa”.

A press release from the presidency specified that during this meeting Saied held an extremely harsh speech on the arrival of “hordes of illegal migrants” whose presence in Tunisia is “a source of violence, crimes and unacceptable acts”.

Insisting on “the need to put a rapid end” to this immigration, he argued that this illegal immigration was part of a “criminal enterprise hatched at the dawn of this century to change the demographic composition of Tunisia” in order to transform into an “African only” country and blur its “Arab-Muslim” character.

In this sense, he called on the authorities to act “at all levels, diplomatic, security and military” to deal with this immigration and “strict application of the law on the status of foreigners in Tunisia and on the illegal crossing of borders. “.

“Those who are behind this phenomenon are trafficking in human beings while claiming to defend human rights,” he said.

Strong condemnations

This speech had been widely denounced by various African chancelleries, but also by the presidency of the African Union (AU).

In this wake, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senegalese Abroad, Aissata Tall Sall, affirmed that Kaïs Saïed’s remarks with regard to sub-Saharan migrants are of “unheard of violence” and shocked more of one.

She added that Africa is a continent where several races and ethnicities live together within the same country. ”Our country, which has just left the presidency of the African Union, has the duty to constantly remind our populations and our peoples,” she said.

In a statement, the Senegalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the establishment of a crisis unit whose mission is to ensure, from the Senegalese embassy in Tunisia, the protection of Senegalese established in this country from North Africa.

“Senegal’s ambassador to Tunisia has been instructed to set up a crisis unit to ensure the protection of our nationals and their property,” the ministry added.



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