Friday, 24 March 2023
Tunisia is no longer safe for African Migrants

Tunisia is no longer a safe country for African migrants, according to the many migrants who are currently stranded in the country. They are of several African nationalities known as 'sub-Saharan', Sudanese, Guinean, Nigerian, Sierra Leonean, Ghanaian, Ivorian and others who are unable to continue their migratory journey or to return home, due to a lack of means. Most of them have lost their jobs, others have been chased out of their homes by their landlords and others have gone missing. The few planes chartered by countries such as Guinea and Mali for repatriation have not taken all their nationals. There are still many living in fear and misery. They are camped in front of the premises of the IOM and the UNHCR, the two organisations mandated by the United Nations to take care of people on the move. These young men, women and children are sleeping in the streets, in front of the offices of these international organisations, in makeshift tents that they have made themselves or often with the help of some local organisations and other people of good will. They are in dire need of food, blankets and care for some who are ill, including children and pregnant women.

Their only request is to be evacuated as soon as possible because the situation is getting worse every day. They had received a visit from a delegation of the African Union a fortnight ago, but nothing is being done by the latter. To make their voices heard, they demonstrated on 21 and 22 March in front of the offices of these institutions, but the police are threatening to evict them from their shelters if they don't act.

One can say then that the essence of the Tunisian president's speech to rid his country of black souls is well underway, because now there is less melanin in the streets, airports and cities in general and what remains wants to leave or hide at all costs for fear of reprisals. Then what about black Tunisians?

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