Tunisia: President Kaïs Saïed reiterates his opposition to the presence of sub-Saharan migrants

After his statements in February 2023, which were followed by intense violence against sub-Saharan migrants, the Tunisian president reiterated on June 26 his opposition to their presence on national soil. As the summer season for departures begins, the city of Sfax has become the rallying point for migrants in search of Europe. And tensions are rising on the spot.

[Illustrative image] Tunisian President Kais Saied arriving for the closing session of the New Global Financial Pact summit on Friday, June 23, 2023 in Paris, France. via REUTERS - POOL

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With our correspondent in Tunis, Amira Souilem


But why do they choose Sfax? This is the question asked yesterday, Monday, June 26, by Kaïs Saïed. In a statement from the Presidency posted on Facebook, the strong man of Carthage has again risen up against the presence of sub-Saharan migrants in his country.

He mandated his interior minister to fight against a phenomenon that, according to him, creates a climate of insecurity in Tunisia, the president going so far as to speak of migrants who "terrorize" Tunisian citizens.

A position reminiscent of that which had pushed some countries on the continent to repatriate some of their nationals from Tunisia.

This new release comes as anti-migrant rallies took place in Sfax this weekend. Organized by residents and a fringe of the opposition, they intended to put pressure on the public authorities to find a solution to the situation on the ground.

" READ ALSO Tunisia: in Sfax, a demonstration against the presence of migrants

More and more, clashes and even clashes between Tunisians and sub-Saharans are reported.

These anti-migrant discourses, paradoxically, increase the number of departures to Europe. Faced with a deleterious climate, more and more sub-Saharan migrants decide to hasten the crossing to Europe.

The animosity comes as many European officials have rushed to Tunisia to ask the authorities to step up their fight against illegal immigration. The European Union is currently studying the possibility of returning illegal migrants arriving on its soil to third countries considered safe. Concern is growing in Tunisia. Many voices are raised to refuse any agreement of this type.

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