Cameroonian citizens have recently expressed their disgust with the xenophobia treatment they are enduring in Tunisia. In a recent publication widely shared on social media, they called for protest movements. To prevent the already dramatic situation from escalating, Samuel Djobo, Cameroon's ambassador to Tunisia, urged his compatriots to "remain calm and respect the local laws in force" in this North African country. He stated that those who wish to return home can inform themselves of the procedure at the embassy.
Since the beginning of February, a wave of repression has been targeting nationals of sub-Saharan African countries in Tunisia. Calls for hatred and murder against blacks have multiplied on social media after President Kaïs Saïed, during a national security meeting last Tuesday, claimed sub-Saharan migrants “are behind crimes and delinquency in Tunisia”. He announced "strong measures" against immigration.
According to RFI, 400 sub-Saharans have been arrested since February 16. France 24 said that more than 300 sub-Saharan nationals, "including children and students," were taken into custody in several Tunisian cities between February 14 and 16. It is unclear whether Cameroonian citizens are among those arrested, as the embassy has not communicated on the matter. Yesterday, the Association of African students and trainees in Tunisia (Aesat), via a statement, advised black students "not to go out even to attend classes, except in cases of force majeure, until the authorities reassure us and ensure our effective protection against these abuses and attacks.”
The association denounces a "climate of increasing anxiety on social media with the circulation of false information targeting people with dark 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 as students, tourists, and patients, provided they "respect Tunisian laws," reports RFI.