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Tunisians protest against irregular migrants

June 26, 2023 at 9:51 am

Irregular migrants during an operation carried out by the Tunisian National Guard against African irregular migrants who want to reach Europe illegally via the Mediterranean Sea on June 08, 2023 in Sfax, Tunisia [Hasan Mrad/DeFodi Images via Getty Images]

Hundreds of Tunisians yesterday participated in two demonstrations in the southern city of Sfax against the presence of irregular migrants in the city, Anadolu reported.

The participants raised banners that read “Sfax is not a transit area” and “irregular immigration is a threat to the Republic” and others calling for “the imposition of visas on travellers coming from sub-Saharan countries”.

The opposition Free Destourian Party also organised a demonstration in Sfax condemning the presence of sub-Saharan Africans in the city.

The head of the party, Abeer Moussa, called on the country’s authorities to “start negotiations with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to deport irregular migrants within the framework of resettlement to countries capable of receiving them, which is legal and in accordance with international standards.”

“The right to asylum remains guaranteed for those who are in imminent danger, in accordance with the conditions set by international laws,” Moussa said, stressing the need to reject European Union dictates regarding the irregular refugee file.

“The existing authority has not made any effort to protect the Tunisian borders with Algeria and Libya to prevent the influx of migrants from there,” she said.

In 2023, the number of refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Tunisia reached 9,547, most notably from the Ivory Coast, Syria, Sudan and Cameroon, according to a report published by the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights on 22 June.

READ: Tunisia: Opposition warns Saied against bowing to European pressure on migrants