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Statement by the Front Citoyen-Togo Debout and Tournons La Page-Togo regarding the events in Tunisia
Communiqué  Posté le 19:57 07-03-2023, modifié le 19:57 07-03-2023 par Tournons la Page

« Race is not about biology; race is about sociology. Race is not a genotype; race is a phenotype. Race matters because of racism. And racism is absurd because it is only about appearance. It is not about the blood that runs through your veins. »

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

On February 21, 2023, during a meeting of the National Security Council, Tunisian President Kaïs Saiëd made remarks with racist overtones, the starting point for a wave of xenophobic violence against black sub-Saharans living in the country. A month to the day of the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21), the Tunisian president is a reminder that there are still people like him who, as the novelist Claire Martin said, possess "the most repugnant infirmity among the various uglinesses of humanity" or cultivating, to paraphrase Malcolm X, "the most pernicious evil, the most noxious on this Earth".

The International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on March 21 commemorates the day in 1960 when police opened fire and killed 69 people during a peaceful demonstration in Sharpeville, South Africa, against apartheid pass laws. In proclaiming the International Day in 1966, the General Assembly called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination (Resolution 2142 (XXI)). Today, almost sixty years later, it is in the north of the continent that unacceptable and scandalous acts are perpetrated by "African brothers" against other brothers guilty of having black skin. Guinea had to charter a plane to urgently repatriate its nationals who had left everything behind. The Ivory Coast followed. Other sub-Saharan African nationals, whether students, workers, or ordinary people, have to go into hiding to escape the blind xenophobic violence. Shocking.

What is happening in Tunisia is a disgrace and totally unworthy of a member country of the African Union. Committing to facilitate the repatriation of sub-Saharans or to protect them from violence will not be enough to restore the image of the "Tunisian brothers". Senghor said that "racists are people who have the wrong anger" and the Tunisians have the wrong anger. The political or economic difficulties that this country is going through are not due to migrants...

The FCTD and TLP-Togo bring all their support to the victims of these xenophobic attacks generated by the racist remarks of the Tunisian president. Racism is not dead, far from it.

The FCTD and TLP-Togo recall that the dignity of Blacks and human rights continue to resound everywhere on this Earth as a call not to close our eyes to racial discrimination. The FCTD and TLP-Togo launch a solemn appeal to the African Union to use all its influence to urge our "Tunisian brothers", notably the first authorities of this country, to clean the stains of racism from their society.

Because of serious precedents on the continent, the FCTD and TLP-Togo urge the African Union to take urgent steps to curb xenophobia and racism and to sanction any state guilty of such acts.

The FCTD and TLP-Togo ask the Togolese authorities to protect Togolese nationals living in Tunisia and to proceed, if necessary, with the repatriation of any sub-Saharan person wishing to leave the country to escape the violence.

Done in Lomé on March 7th
Le FCTD / TLP-Togo

Photo : Portrait Kaïs Saïed,
26 February 2020
by : Houcemmzoughi