Xenophobia grows amidst raids and repeated attacks on sub-Saharan Africans in Tunisia

© Observers

Tunisian law enforcement has launched a wave of repression against the country’s sub-Saharan African population, carrying out random identity checks and sometimes violently arresting them, leaving their children abandoned and offering no access to any kind of legal support. Xenophobic and racist sentiments have also been circulating widely on Tunisian social media, a toxic climate that recent statements by the Tunisian president only exacerbated.

Tunisian police in a number of cities carried out a campaign against the migrant community, arresting and detaining around 300 people from sub-Saharan Africa, including women and children, between February 14 and 16.

Police in a western suburb of Tunis arrested the staff working at a daycare run by an Ivorian couple… as well as a number of parents who had come to pick up their children on February 16. The adults were brought to the police station, apparently so that authorities could check their papers, according to the Tunis-based media outlet Radio Libre Francophone.

Some of the parents who were arrested managed to get their small children to friends or family. Other children were taken into the care of staff with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. However, many of the children were taken from their parents and placed into a foster centre in a Tunis suburb.

Daoud continued: