After his speech of 21 February, condemned by NGOs as “racist and hateful”, the Tunisian President tried to appease anger by defending himself on Wednesday against any racism towards sub-Saharan Africans.
During a meeting with the President of Guinea-Bissau Umaro Sissoco Embalo, the Tunisian president said that Africans in the country are “brothers” while justifying that his speech was aimed at enforcing Tunisian law regarding foreigners.
He thus expressed his rejection of what he described as malicious remarks which he said “interpreted his speech to harm Tunisia”, adding the expression “I am African and I am proud of it”.
Mr. Saied previously stated in a speech that illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa are contributing to the rise in crime in the country and aim to change the geographical composition of the country.
This speech has sown fear and insecurity among sub-Saharan nationals who have reported that they are being subjected to a series of assaults, forcing them to request repatriation from their embassies.