IMF drops Tunisia rescue plan over Saied migrant purge

IMF drops Tunisia rescue plan over Saied migrant purge

Tunisia continues to fall into a deeper black hole of economic and political calamity, much of its own making, with the news now that even the IMF has lost confidence in its regime and its in-house dictator.

The World Bank is putting on hold strategic partnership talks with the Tunisian government following President Kais Saied’s recent remarks about migrants in the country, World Bank President David Malpass told staff in an internal note on March 5th.

According to The National, in the note, Mr Malpass said the bank was suspending Tunisia’s Country Partnership Framework, which mapped out future programmes from 2023 to 2025, and would postpone until further notice a March 21 board meeting to review that new strategic engagement. Current work was continuing, he said.

Before the decision, Tunisia had a scheduled World Bank board meeting on March 21 to discuss the partnership framework.

Mr Malpass said in the same note that the meeting was postponed “until further notice”, with current work and projects with Tunisia remaining financed.

Mr Saied had said on February 21 that “urgent measures” were needed to tackle irregular migration and claimed, without providing evidence, that there was “a criminal plot” under way “to change Tunisia’s demographic composition”.

Hundreds of sub-Saharan African migrants in the country have reported being subjected to racially motivated attacks that have prompted some of them to ask for voluntary repatriation to their countries of origin.

“Public commentary that stokes discrimination, aggression and racist violence is completely unacceptable,” Mr Malpass told staff in his note.

The international lender also said that the aim of its projects was to create better living conditions for people — citizens and migrants alike.

“The safety and inclusion of migrants and minorities is part of our institutions’ core values of inclusion, respect and antiracism in all shapes and forms,” read the internal note that was leaked online.

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Nabil Ammar denied at a press conference on March 6th any racism allegations and said the Interior Ministry had been legally pursuing all documented attacks on migrants.

“Tunisia will not allow any violation targeting sub-Saharan Africans or any foreigner alike”, he said.

The National/Agencies


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