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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

the authorities announce measures to calm the controversy

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The Tunisian authorities announced, on March 5, 2023, measures to facilitate residence procedures for sub-Saharan students and to relax those for the voluntary departure of irregular migrants to their country. Decisions that follow the controversial remarks of President Kaïs Saïed and a wave of attacks in Tunisia.

With our correspondent in Tunis, Lilia Blaise

In Tunisia, the President of the Republic Kaïs Saïed and his government are trying to calm the tone after the controversial statements of February 21, 2023 on the wave of irregular sub-Saharan migrants in Tunisia.

In a press release published on Sunday March 5, the presidency rejects the accusations of ” racism but also launches a battery of measures to facilitate residence procedures for sub-Saharan students and make those for the voluntary departure of irregular migrants in their country more flexible: one-year residence permit, receipt of application for an extended residence permit from 3 to 6 months and establishment of a toll-free number to report rights violations.

Read also Controversy over migrants in Tunisia: sub-Saharan students remain cloistered at home

This battery of measures to improve the situation of foreigners in Tunisia and facilitate regularization procedures are intended to appease the current climate in the country.

In addition to these decisions, there is a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 4, 2023 which proposes exemption from residence penalties for migrants wishing to return voluntarily to their country. These were capped at 3,000 dinars [900 euros, Ndlr]a very high and difficult sum to collect for migrants who had been in Tunisia for several years.

Despite this speech of appeasement, student associations report new attacks this weekend against a Burkinabè student at the exit of a supermarket. Shocked, the latter returned to Burkina Faso on Sunday. Two Congolese students were also stabbed on March 5.

Read also Violently attacked in Tunis, a Cameroonian testifies despite her fear

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