Friday, February 24, 2023

Tunisia's president plays the race card.

 Tunisia's beleaguered president plays the racist immigrant card. Tunisia’s vulnerable migrant community is the target of Saied

 Kais Saied told a meeting of security officials that migrants are part of a wider campaign to change the demographic makeup of the country and make it “purely African”.

 Saied called for urgent action to halt the flow of sub-Saharan migrants into the country. “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,” he said, going on to accuse unnamed parties of complicity in a “criminal arrangement made since the beginning of this century to alter the demographic structure of Tunisia”.

“It is a racist approach, just like the campaigns in Europe,” Romdhane Ben Amor, spokesperson for the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES), was reported as saying by Reuters. “The presidential campaign aims to create an imaginary enemy for Tunisians to distract them from their basic problems,” he said.

The little-known Nationalist party has been campaigning in recent weeks for the authorities to identify and expel undocumented migrants from the country. The message was gaining momentum before being adopted by the president. Many see the president’s campaign as an attempt to distract people from the problems of daily life and the state of the Tunisian economy and to deflect anger from his own role since he suspended the country’s fractious parliament in July 2021.

Tunisia’s president calls for halt to sub-Saharan immigration amid crackdown on opposition | Global development | The Guardian

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