Black Africans in Tunisia are facing racist attacks, stabbings and evictions after the president made some incendiary remarks. On social media, some Tunisians call sub-Saharan African migrants invaders, criminals and rapists who eat their cats.
There are 20,000 “Sub-Saharan Africans” in Tunisia compared to a population of 12 million so they’re not taking over.
President Kais Saied’s comments echo The Great Replacement Theory that’s popular in right-wing European and North American circles. He’s being accused of racism.
Some African counties including Guinea and Gabon are repatriating their citizens following the attacks, CNN correspondent, Larry Madowo, reported.
Some, however, say they won’t leave the country since there is nothing to go to in their home countries. Watch the video below for more:
Speaking at the country’s National Security Council on February 21, President Saied said migration from sub-Saharan Africa aimed to change Tunisia’s national identity. He said:
The undeclared goal of the successive waves of illegal immigration is to consider Tunisia a purely African country that has no affiliation to the Arab and Islamic nations.
The African Union called the president’s remarks racist and shocking, according to Al Jazeera.
The African Union also postponed a conference that was scheduled for Tunisia next week. The AU Chairperson previously strongly condemned the “racial statements on fellow Africans in Tunisia”
Saed defended his remarks denying that he was inciting racist attacks on black Africans in Tunisia. Tunisia rejects that it is racist, and reminded it was one of the founders of the Organization of African Unity. Said Tunisia in a statement:
It is an honor for Tunisia to be an African state. Africans are our brothers.
Thousands of people from sub-Saharan Africa travel to Tunisia for work in Tunisia or to use the North African country as a springboard to travel to Europe.
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