EU deal in Tunisia turns up the heat on African migrants


After the new EU-Tunisia deal signing last week, migrants gathered at the coastal town of Sfax no longer have anywhere to turn, London-based New Arab reports.

One Nigerian who has spent an entire year seeking the border in the hope of a new life in Europe said: “It’s hard to leave now after the deal. Even smugglers don’t trust us [black Africans].

“Now, I only want to survive,” he added.

Fears for safety have only increased since temperatures hit an unprecedented high on 26th July of 50 degrees Celsius where homeless migrants fight off starvation, violence and heat.

The recent deal includes financial aid of 1 billion euros to tighten Tunisian borders, steady the rapidly declining economy and stop mass migration reaching European shores.

However, the money has not aided the present crisis at the border. Criminal gangs in the area are taking advantage of this situation, knowing the recent deal traps migrants in these towns and now are desperately seeking necessities to survive.

Gangs are charging migrants 5 diners (US$1.6) for an hour in the shade under trees.

In Sfax, many of the migrants are living rough and starved of food and water as they face violence and aggression from residents, police and governmental bodies who are majorly hostile towards black Africans.

With the crisis stagnant for the migrants stuck in these towns waiting to be human trafficked out of the country, they lie on the burning ground, with hot water, spoiled food and no money due to spending it on shade.

Since July 21st, at least 15 migrants have been found dead off Tunisia’s coast.

Before this, border forces found many migrants dead, including a pregnant woman and a mother and daughter, through a lack of humane necessities and violent attacks.


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