Tunisia – Tunisia struggles to manage migrant surge


Location: Tunis, Tunisia

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:05:13

Voice: Natural

Source: A24 Tunis

Restriction: A24 subscribers

Date: 03/09/2022


African migrants and the Tunisian groups trying to help them say the country is increasingly unable to provide needed medical and social services.

According to Tunisian officials, approximately 61,000 migrants from Africa are in the country waiting to hope to find work and new lives in Europe.

Immigrants come to Tunisia as a transit point, intending to escape harsh living conditions in their native countries.

Migrants say the local and international agencies are, at best, slow in handling their basic humanitarian needs, and many of them are homeless and unable to access medical care.

Shot list:

Soundbite (Hisham Imad – an asylum seeker from Sudan):

“I escaped from Sudan, where we lack safety and a decent life, trying to survive. I entered Libya to be a transit country and not to settle there. My purpose is to go to Europe in what is called the journey of death, ignoring all dangers in hopes of having a new life. After that, I decided to enter Tunisia to apply for asylum before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is responsible for my case.”

Soundbite (Abu Bakr Juma Al-Hamid – from Sudan):

“When we go to the UNHCR, they say go to our partner, the Tunisian Council for Refugees. When we go to the council, they say you don’t need help, and the aid is only for emergencies. I wonder if our case is not an emergency. What does an emergency mean? We cannot go to the hospital. A friend of mine named Ahmed Al-Saghroun died last March. We went to the commission and said that this person is sick, but they said we are not responsible for his case. When we went to the Tunisian Council, which is the official partner of the commissioner, we got the same answer.”

Soundbite (Ramadan Benomar – Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights):

“It is one of the results of the unfair European policies imposed on Tunisia and Libya. Libya turned into a major center for Egyptian and Bengali nationalities. Tunisia, which in recent years has played the role of European border guards, has intercepted hundreds of migrants at sea and taken them to Tunisia. Libya also forced dozens of them to flee illegally to Tunisia. There are also the flows that come across the Algerian border, which has made Tunisia today a major destination for these and a gathering point without taking into account that Tunisia has neither a legal system to protect it nor an economic and logistical system to take care of them. We have seen that the number of refugees and asylum seekers has increased significantly and that the state is not providing anything to these vulnerable groups amid a lack of services from international organizations.”

Soundbite (Hisham Imad – an asylum seeker from Sudan):

“What is impressive about those people is that they do not ask others for help but rather work on their own to earn a living.”

Soundbite (Abu Bakr Juma Al-Hamid – from Sudan):

“Obviously we are victims of human trafficking. UNHCR gave us a refugee card, but we are refugees in name only. They receive assistance from the UN in the name of refugees.”

Soundbite (Hisham Imad – an asylum seeker from Sudan):

“This will not prevent us from seeking to enjoy our right to life which has become just a dream when it is our right. What a strange thing! “

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