Black Africans in Tunisia are being physically attacked, fired from jobs and evicted from homes after President Kais Saied’s claims that black people are taking over the country.
In a speech on February 21, Saied ordered officials to take “urgent measures” to tackle irregular migration, claiming that “a criminal plot” was underway “to change Tunisia’s demographic makeup”
Saied also claimed that migrants were behind most crime in the North African country.
His claims have fuelled attacks against black Africans.
Reports indicate that black Africans in Tunisia have been stabbed, evicted from their homes, fired from work and abused online following the remarks. Police also conducted identity checks and arrested dozens of migrants.
“On social media, some Tunisians call sub-Saharan African migrants invaders, criminals and rapists who eat their cats,” CNN journalist Larry Madowo tweeted.
Meanwhile, Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea have since started the process of repatriating their citizens from the North African country.
Ivorian ambassador Ibrahim Sy Savane told international media that said a total of 1,100 Ivorians, out of 7,000 estimated to be in Tunisia, have applied to be repatriated from Tunisia.
Michael Elie Bio Vamet, head of an Ivorian student association, said 30 students signed up for the repatriation flight despite having permits to stay in Tunisia.
“They don’t feel comfortable,” he told AFP by phone. “Some of them were victims of racist acts. Some are at the end of their studies, but others discontinued.”
Tunisia has about 12 million inhabitants and out of these around 21,000 are undocumented migrants.
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