Sierra Leonean migrant Mohamed has said that he and his friends were attacked and beaten by some Tunisians.

Speaking in an interview with Aljazeera’s Simon Speakman Cordall, Mohamed said, “The violence here is very tough. Tunisian boys, they came and hit the door, forcing their way in. They hit me and forced us out. If I have the opportunity, I will go to Europe.

Protecting himself from the heat of the sun, Mohamed said they were hit with machetes, pointing towards his friend’s bandaged arm which was soaked with blood. “I lost both my parents and my brother in Sierra Leone,” he said.

The migrant stated that he had traveled to Tunisia from Libya with the hope of traveling to Europe and explained of being imprisoned and held for ransom by armed groups in Libya, before ending up in Sfax in Tunis.

Mohamed, one of hundreds undocumented African migrants countries due to the economic hardship back home, now faces a difficult life on the streets.

According to the Aljazeera’s report many migrants in Tunisia used to live peacefully before the country’s President Kais Saied made a racial statement in February, blaming “hordes of irregular migrants from sub-Saharan Africa who had come to Tunisia, bringing with them all the violence, crime and unacceptable practices.”

The report stated there was an altercation involving a local man which became deadly, which led to black migrants fleeing Sfax to save their lives.

“The death of the man on Monday during skirmishes with the city’s Black migrants looks to have ignited the region’s long-smoldering touch paper, giving rise to clashes between residents and migrants on Tuesday morning, one onlooker described as ‘like civil war'” a part reads.

17-year-old Zidan Chouchen had little or no sympathy for the undocumented African migrants in his city. He says “You rent a house to two people then they bring friends, then more friends, soon they are sleeping on the roof and the neighbours are complaining”.

Speaking with pride, Chouchen said he had almost earned enough to pay for his own irregular crossing to Europe.

He said, “For us when we go to Europe we have an objective: to rent a house and build a new life. For them, when they come here, they just want to start fights, take money and act like gangsters. Now they’re killing people.”

Sfax, a city in Tunisia, is said to be synonymous with racial tensions.