The African Union condemns the Tunisian president’s remarks on migrants
The African Union condemned the Tunisian president’s remarks on migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and called on its member states to “refrain from any racist hate speech likely to harm people“.
President Kais Saied on Tuesday advocated “urgent measuresagainst the illegal immigration of nationals of sub-Saharan African countries, affirming that their presence in Tunisia was a source of “violence, crimes and unacceptable acts», Remarks denounced by NGOs.
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During a meeting, he also made very harsh remarks about the arrival of “hordes of illegal immigrants» and insisted on «the need to quickly endto this immigration.
In a statement on Friday, the Chairman of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, “strongly condemns the shocking statements made by the Tunisian authorities against fellow Africans, which go against the letter and spirit of our Organization and our founding principles“.
He “reminds all countries, in particular the Member States of the African Union, that they must honor their obligations under international law (…), namely to treat all migrants with dignity, hence they come, refrain from racist hate speech that is likely to harm people, and prioritize their safety and fundamental rights“.
Moussa Faki Mahamat reiterates “the commission’s commitment to support the Tunisian authorities in resolving migration issues in order to make migration safe, dignified and regular“.
Saied’s speech, which concentrates all powers after suspending parliament in July 2021 and dismissing the government, came as the country is going through a serious economic crisis marked by recurring shortages of basic products, against a backdrop of political tensions.
According to official figures quoted by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), Tunisia, a country of some 12 million inhabitants, has more than 21,000 nationals from sub-Saharan African countries, most of them in an irregular situation.