Sierra Leone’s Embassy in Cairo, the Arab Republic of Egypt has called on Sierra Leoneans in Tunisia to be calm and law-abiding amid reports of xenophobic attacks on migrants from the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

The Embassy in a press statement issued  2 March 2023 stated that their attention have been drawn to reports of maltreatment of African migrants, including Sierra Leoneans by Tunisia authorities, as intend to clamp down on illegal migration.

The attacks reportedly directed generally at immigrants was sparked by comments attributed to the country’s president, Kais Saied, accusing immigrants of plotting to change his country’s racial identity.

President Saied was quoted last week denouncing undocumented sub-Saharan African immigrants and claiming that their influx into the country was part of a plot to change the country’s demographic make-up.

The Sierra Leone Embassy in Cairo stated that they had engaged the Tunisia authorities through their Embassy in Egypt and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Tunisia office, and modalities have been put in place to ensure the rights of Sierra Leoneans in Tunisia are maintained.

The Embassy further called on all Sierra Leonean migrants in Tunisia to comply with the country’s laws on immigration and to also stay out of places where there is a more significant potential for escalation of tensions and intimidation.

The Embassy noted that they will continue to play a crucial role in raising awareness of illegal migration, its forms and consequences, and protecting the vulnerable Sierra Leonean population from falling prey to dangerous and illegal adventures.

It concluded by assuring the general public that further developments on the matter will be communicated as it unfolds.

Meanwhile, Sierra Leone’s close neighbour, Guniea has sent a plane to evacuate its nationals from the increasingly volatile North African nation.

On Tuesday, the military government in Guinea dispatched a delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Guineans Abroad, Dr. Morissanda Kouyaté, to Tunis to bring back all Guineans who are willing to return home.

This special humanitarian flight has been deployed by the Head of State, Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya, to urgently go to the rescue of Guineans living in the Maghreb country and to facilitate the repatriation of those who wish to do so,” the statement reads.

According to reports, the government of Ivory Coast, another Mano River Union nation, is also sending a chartered aircraft to Tunisia to bring its citizens home.