In Tunisia’s coastal city of Sfax, three African migrants have been arrested as suspects following the fatal stabbing of a local man.
The victim, aged in his early 40s, was stabbed late on Monday during a fight between local residents and migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, according to Faouzi Masmoudi, spokesperson for the city’s prosecutor.
Masmoudi said the three suspects were from Cameroon. Following the arrests, police stood guard outside the African migrants’ house, for fear of reprisals.
The incident took place after months of growing tensions between Tunisians and migrants.
Locals in Sfax regularly protest the migrants’ presence in Tunisia’s second-largest city which acts as a departure point for many migrants hoping to reach Italy.
In February, President Kais Saied accused “hordes” of illegal migrants of bringing violence, crime and “unacceptable practices”, prompting a rise in racially motivated attacks on migrants and foreign students.
In late May, police arrested three Tunisians on suspicion of stabbing to death a migrant from Benin.
Tunisian economic crisis
Tunisia hosts an estimated 21 000 migrants from other parts of Africa, out of a population of 12 million, representing 0.2 percent.
Though some of those migrants come to Tunisia to study, many hope to use the country as a springboard to reach Europe across the Mediterranean sea.
Amid an economic crisis in the country, Tunisians themselves are also joining the exodus.
Tunisian is highly indebted and in talks for a bailout loan from the International Monetary Fund. However, Saied has repeatedly rejected what he terms the “diktats” of the Washington-based IMF.
Source : africanews