AU Condemns Tunisia’s ‘hate Speech’ against Africans Migrants

ADDIS ABABA – The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki has strongly criticized the Tunisian President for his statement against migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.

Reports say President Kais Saied ordered the expulsion of undocumented migrants from Tunisia on Tuesday, claiming immigration was a plot aimed at changing his country’s demographic composition without evidence.

The president’s statement has been widely criticized including by Tunisian rights activists as “racist”.

In a statement today, the African Union Commission condemned President Saied’s remarks, calling it shocking that goes against the “spirit of our Organization and founding principles.”

Chairperson Mahamat said, “he strongly condemns the shocking statement issued by Tunisian authorities targeting fellow Africans”.

The AU Commission also summoned the Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the Union for an urgent meeting “to register deep shock and concern at the form and substance of the statement targeting fellow Africans”.

Mahamat called on all countries, particularly AU Member States, to honor their obligations under international law and AU instruments to treat all migrants with dignity, “wherever they come from, refrain from racialized hate speech that could bring people to harm, and prioritize their safety and human rights.”

In an interview with France 24, Tunisia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nabil Amar said he was astonished by the African Union’s reaction and rejected the allegations.

Many sub-Saharan Africans in Tunisia are now leaving, reporting beatings, and losing their jobs and accommodation, the French TV reports.

Tunisia, which has a population of some 12 million, is home to more than 21,000 citizens from sub-Saharan African countries, according to a Tunisian Rights group FTDES.

Featured Image: People gather outside the Ivory Coast embassy in Tunis for their repatriation to Abidjan, on February 24, 2023 [Photo Fethi Belaid/AFP]

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