Beja: Water scarcity threatens agriculture and life itself

As water levels in Tunisia’s dams have fallen, the country itself has fallen below the water poverty line. Water levels in the country’s dams are at a record low in comparison with previous years, at 28.5% of reserve capacity, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Financial Resources. This drop has had a direct impact on agricultural activities and contributed to soaring prices, while also causing interruptions in the supply of water used for irrigation and human consumption.

Sub-Saharans in Tunisia: The untruths expounded by president Kais Saied

Tunisia’s president has accused civil society of fomenting the country’s colonization by undocumented migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Kais Saied denounces those who wish to « change the demographic composition » of Tunisia, evoking their « violence and criminality ». His proof? Contacted by Nawaat, the Interior Ministry affirmed that it does not have statistics regarding the number of migrants implicated in criminal activities. A glimpse at the facts exposes the president’s xenophobic fiction for what it is.

Racism and Sub-Saharans in Tunisia: Italian influence or nationalistic lobbying?

Tunisian president’s shocking statement on sub-Saharan Africans in the country sparked xenophobic violence, police arrests, and evictions against them. It reflects Tunisia’s non-receptive migration policies and a security-focused approach. The wave of repression is linked to EU externalization of migration policies, and it is possible that Italian pressure and lobbying by the Tunisian Nationalist Party played a role. In the aftermath of the statement’s release, the Presidency has taken steps to address the criticism that ensued.

Tunisian Nationalist Party: Government-authorized racism

A political party recognized by the Tunisian government is openly displaying its xenophobia and rejection of sub-Saharan migrants. « Racism is a heinous crime punishable by the law. This racist discourse includes the incitation of violence and violates the provisions under Article 9 of the law combating racial discrimination », one jurist says. And yet members of the Tunisian Nationalist Party are clearly benefiting from its ins with authorities, even receiving airtime on television.

« You’re telling me they’re blacks? »: Framing anti-Black racism in Tunisia

In a recent video diffused on different social media accounts, including the account of one highly-followed Tunisian Instagram personality, a crowd of Tunisians vehemently protest the presence of sub-Saharan African migrants in the country. The display of unabashed racism, especially by those who insist that their grievances have nothing to do with racial prejudice, is frighteningly familiar.

Under Surveillance: Testimony from a Global South migrant in Tunisia

On 2 June 2022, three police officers in civilian clothes knocked on my door in the Bab Souika neighborhood of Tunis, and asked me to follow them to the local police station without providing any reason. Upon my arrival at the station, my Indian passport and the temporary residence permit (carte de séjour provisoire) that I had carried with me were taken away. I was informed that the subject of my summons was a tweet I had published the day before.

Legislative elections: Double penalty for Tunisians living abroad

« Tunisians residing abroad (TRE) have suffered a double penalty: first of all, the number of their representatives’ seats decreased from 18 to 10. Second of all, the requirement for obtaining 400 sponsors is absurd and unfair » says one candidate who did not make into the upcoming legislative elections. Indeed, the country’s new electoral law has clearly diminished TRE’s chances of benefiting from representation in parliament.

Legislative elections 2022: A catastrophe foretold

New figures quantifying the candidacies presented for Tunisia’s upcoming legislative elections are cause for concern. According to numbers reported by the Independent High Authority for Elections, equality between men and women is naught. Furthermore, not all Tunisians will necessarily benefit from parliamentary representation. And candidates’ visibility in the media is problematic, as coverage will be focused on individual runners not on electoral lists as usual.

IMF-Tunisia agreement: a social time-bomb

Tunisia’s new agreement with the IMF is just two months away from becoming operational. The government, however, is far from being prepared to navigate what follows once it begins the precarious task of dismantling the subsidies system which covers basic goods and hydrocarbons. Rather than alleviating pressure on the country’s most vulnerable groups, it is likely to incite anger and indeed set off the social time bomb that it had hoped to disarm.