Xenophobia : Cameroon Organises Voluntary Return of its Nationals in Tunisia

In a statement issued on February 22nd 2023, the Embassy of Cameroon in Tunisia invites its nationals to stay calm…

In a statement issued on February 22nd 2023, the Embassy of Cameroon in Tunisia invites its nationals to stay calm and to respect the local laws in force.

A Tunisian migration NGO has denounced a speech by President Kais Saied as “racist and hateful” in which he maligned sub-Saharan African migrants as a source of “violence, crimes and unacceptable acts.
Following numerous uplifts, this press release highlights that… “calls for the organisation of protest movements relayed by social networks in reaction to current events in the Tunisian Republic,” writes the head of diplomatic mission, Samuel Djobo, without specifying the nature of the said news. Also, ” compatriots can approach the chancery for any need for information and/or procedure as part of a voluntary return,” informs the Ambassador of Cameroun to Tunisia.

Since the beginning of February, a wave of repression has targeted nationals of sub-Saharan African countries in Tunisia. On social networks, calls for hatred and murder against blacks are multiplying, exacerbated by the speech given by Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed at a national security meeting last Tuesday. During this meeting, the Tunisian leader accused sub-Saharan migrants of being at the origin of “crimes” and “delinquency” in his country and announced “strong measures” against immigration.

According to RFI, 400 Sub-Saharans have been arrested since February 16.  France 24 reports, they are more than 300 sub-Saharan nationals, “including children and students”, who were placed in police custody in several Tunisian cities between February 14 and 16. However, it is difficult to know if Cameroonians are among the people arrested, as the embassy did not communicate on this subject. On Wednesday, the Association of African Students and Trainees in Tunisia (Aesat) advised black students, via a statement, “to no longer go out even to go to class, except for urgent cases  until the authorities reassure us and ensure our effective protection against these slippages and aggressions“.

The association denounces an “hostile and more anxiety-provoking climate on social networks with the circulation of false information aimed at people with black skin without distinction“. On Wednesday evening, the spokesman for the Tunisian presidency, Walid Hajjem, said on television that Tunisia is not against the presence of sub-Saharan nationals on its territory such as students, tourists and patients, provided that they are “submitted to Tunisian laws,” reports RFI.

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