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TUNISIA: Dozens of refugees, migrants demand evacuation to other countries

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By Teide Emomotimi

It was gathered that refugees in Tunisia have continued to demand evacuation to other countries, following the poor treatment meted to them by the country’s government.

A report said survivors of illegal immigration attempts, taking the sea route to Europe, had mounted a sit in front of the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Tunisian capital, Tunis on Saturday.

According to them, “We need to be evacuated,” reads a banner they have a swing at the entrance to the building issued with blankets, the refugees, many of whom are women and children, spent the night on paperlike boxes spread out on the ground amid grip containing their personal belongings.

According to the refugee’s spokesman “The real problem is, the UN commission has abandoned its main role, which is our protection. Instead of doing that, it has left us on the street. Which we were living in Zarzis, and which the UN commission demanded our evacuation from there, and the cut off all funds and stopped protecting us.” Where Saleh Saeed, the Sudanese from Darfur who refused refugee status told the AFP.

In the same vein, a 19-year-old Mohamed Nour from Chad also claimed there had been instances of racism against them which makes life tough. Which there have been attacks on our homes. We just want to be evacuated from this country, Mohammed Nour.”

The migrants and refugees in Tunisia, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa, regularly complain of being subjected to verbal and physical maltreatment in Tunisia, where the majority of these migrants were rescued off the coast of Tunisia after their boats capsized while they were trying to reach the European continent surreptitiously.

According to statistics from the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights, the Tunisian coastguard intercepted about 25,657 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2021, which is almost double the number from the previous year.

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