World Bank suspends partnership with Tunisia due to racism
The World Bank said it halted cooperation with Tunisia after a surge in racism in the country triggered by anti-migrant speech by its president.
President Kais Saied stoked racism in the country, triggering a spate of state-condoned violent acts that affected many Sub-Saharans living in the country.
News agencies, including Reuters, said the World Bank paused its partnership with Tunisia, which mapped out future programs from 2023-2025, and had postponed it until further notice.
“The safety and inclusion of migrants and minorities is part of our institution’s core values of inclusion, respect, and anti-racism in all shapes and forms,” World Bank President David Malpass told staff in a note.
“Public commentary that stokes discrimination, aggression, and racist violence is completely unacceptable,” he wrote.
As President Kais Saied continues his power grab and control over the judiciary, economic conditions worsen with shortages of basic goods leading Tunisians to stand in long queues.
Picking Sub-Saharan migrants as a scapegoat to distract from the erosion of financial, political, and economic stability in the country has backfired as the noose tightens on the government to halt its crackdown on migrants.
“As you heard from the World Bank, we too are deeply concerned by President Saied’s remarks regarding migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Tunisia and reports of arbitrary arrests of migrants in recent weeks,” US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said.
“We urge Tunisian authorities to meet their obligations under international law to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants,” he added.
Social media was awash with videos showing Tunisians acting to the President’s racist comments tormenting and terrorizing Sub-Saharan migrants in the country. The situation has led many African countries to ask their nationals to leave the country.