Yet Again, Tunisia Accused of Ill-Treatment of Black Refugees


Tunisia’s President Kais Saied dismissed criticism of his government’s handling of Black African refugees after hundreds of Black African migrants were apprehended by police and left on the Libyan border, Al Jazeera reports.

On July 9, Saied said the migrants are being treated humanely, as a result of what he called “our values”.

“These migrants are receiving humane treatment emanating from our values and traits, contrary to what colonial circles and their agents are circulating,” the Tunisian presidency is reported to have said.

On July 6, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that since July 2, 2023, several hundred Black African migrants and asylum seekers, including children and pregnant women, have been forcibly relocated by Tunisian security forces to a distant, fortified buffer zone near the Tunisia-Libya border.

People who were expelled without due process include those who had both regular and irregular legal status in Tunisia, according to the HRW report.

In February 2023, Saied cracked down on illegal immigration, using language the African Union regarded to be “racialized hate speech”.

In a speech on February 21, 2023, Saied demanded the deportation of all illegal immigrants and referred to migration as a scheme to change Tunisia’s demography so that it becomes more African and less Arab. On February 25, hundreds of Tunisians protested in response to Saied’s comments.

Saied came into power in 2019 and has since been consolidating his power by toppling the government, shutting down then dissolving parliament, and passing a new constitution that gives him virtually limitless authority.


Posted by on Jul 13 2023. Filed under African News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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