ECOWAS leaders at their extra-ordinary meeting in Abuja on 30 July. Most of the affected migrants in Tunisia are from West Africa/Photo: ECOWAS

Inhumane Treatment of African Migrants in Tunisia Must Cease

By Bakary J. Janneh

In recent weeks, the actions of the Tunisian Police Force towards African migrants within the country have raised serious concerns and prompted an outcry from human rights advocates. Reports have surfaced detailing instances of the burning of migrants’ habitats and the destruction of their food supplies, painting a grim picture of a gross violation of human rights on Tunisian soil.

This alarming behaviour demands immediate attention from the international community, with a call to action directed towards key organizations such as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the African Union (AU), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is imperative that these entities swiftly intervene and address the situation, holding the Tunisian government accountable for the egregious treatment of migrants.

The deliberate destruction of migrants’ living spaces not only violates their basic human rights but also exacerbates the already precarious conditions they face. This condemnable act leaves vulnerable individuals without shelter, exposing them to the elements and further jeopardizing their well-being. Such actions are unacceptable and demand a robust response from the global community.

Additionally, reports of the destruction of migrants’ food supplies underscore a callous disregard for their basic needs. Depriving individuals of sustenance is not only morally reprehensible but also contravenes international humanitarian standards. It is essential that the Tunisian government be reminded of its responsibility to uphold the dignity and rights of all individuals within its borders, regardless of their origin.

The International Organization for Migration, as a key player in addressing migration challenges, should collaborate with the African Union and ECOWAS to apply diplomatic pressure on the Tunisian government. A united front must be presented, emphasizing the need for an immediate cessation of these inhumane actions and urging the government to implement measures that respect the rights and well-being of migrants.

The African Union, with its commitment to promoting and protecting human rights, must take a strong stance against such violations occurring on the continent. ECOWAS, representing the West African region, should actively engage with the Tunisian government to ensure that the rights of migrants from West Africa are safeguarded.

In conclusion, the international community cannot remain silent in the face of such blatant human rights violations. The urgency of this situation demands swift and decisive action from the International Organization for Migration, the African Union, and ECOWAS.

The Tunisian government must be held accountable, and measures must be implemented immediately to cease the inhumane treatment of African migrants within its borders. It is a collective responsibility to ensure that justice prevails, and the rights and dignity of migrants are protected.

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