On Tuesday, the Tunisian authorities detained dozens of sub-Saharan migrants and evicted a hundred people who had been staying in a makeshift camp in Tunis for two months.
Previously, on Monday night, some men tried to enter into the building of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) located in the El Lago neighborhood.
Migrants ask this institution to transfer them to a third country due to the indifference of the Tunisian authorities to the precarious living conditions of their community.
On Tuesday morning, the Interior Ministry confirmed the arrest of 80 people after several vehicles were vandalized in that area. Shortly after the eviction, the Tunis cleaning services removed tents and belongings that were abandoned during the police operation.
“Tunisia is not safe. We need evacuation.”
Videos posted on Twitter show Tunisian police violently harassing a group of Sub-Saharan African migrants, as they call on human rights organisations to help them evacuate the country pic.twitter.com/PlqO3BEFfJ
— Middle East Eye (@MiddleEastEye)
April 11, 2023
“I don’t feel well, I’m tired. I just want to get out of this country,” said Fatima, an eight-month pregnant woman from Sierra Leone, as she tried to retrieve some of her belongings.
Carrying several mattresses on her back, this young woman decided to move to a camp set up in front of the headquarters of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), where another hundred migrants asking to leave Tunisia have been living.
Although some sub-Saharan migrants have obtained refugee status, they do not feel safe due to police harassment and attacks by Tunisian citizens.
The episodes of violence have increased since February, especially after President Kais Said accused the migrants of being part of a plot to change the demography and “Arab-Muslim” identity of the country.
Since then hundreds of people, mostly from the Ivory Coast and Guinea, have requested voluntary return to their countries after losing their jobs or being evicted from their homes.