Most of you might not have even heard about a country named “Tunisia”, but recently this name has been taking a swirl on the internet for one of the most prominent racial controversies.

Tunisia is an arid nation in Africa whose area is covered in sand, but what remains showcases some of the most magnificent architectural wonders and scenic cities.

Although the nation is a part of Africa, most of the population follows Islam and speaks Arabic. The dominance in the reign of Islam can be dated back to the 7th century when the first Berber North African population was converted to Islam under Arab conquerors.

Since then, the nation has struggled to maintain peace between the Muslim and minority African populations. However, the two have been struggling to co-exist, and many cases of racial discrimination have been brought forward in the past years.

And the recent remark of the Tunisian president over the immigration of Sub-Saharan African migrants is why Tunisia has become a hot topic today. Kais Saied, in a statement on February 21st, stated that illegal immigration of the Sub-Saharan African population in the country should be prohibited because migration is an attempt to make Tunisia “less Islamic and more African”. As per the report of Bloomberg, the president also accused African migrants of increasing violence in the country.

Following the statement, massive riots and uprisings among the masses were reported. Streets were rushed with waves of people marching to kill any African they found on the way. Many of the Africans were taken for a remand session with police. Few of those who managed to escape have fled from the country. As per the local media reports, police responded to delayed complaints.

And the riots are making international news. Even the AU (African Union) and the world bank could not refrain from reacting to the critical situation in the country.

The World Bank commenting on the issue, stated that it is restricting its operations with Tunisia over the racial remarks of the president. Even the African Union cancelled the meeting with Tunisia and suggested Tunisia refrain from racialized hate speech in a statement issued on February 24th.

However, the last Sunday, the President denied every allegation of racial speech and went on to say that Tunisia is proudly an African country and deeply respects African immigrants to such an extent that the country has visa relaxations and penalty fees waivers for their neighbours.

For the unknown, the country has been under economic and political crackdown since 2021, when president Kais Saied dissolved the parliament and resumed full charge of the government.

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