Tunisia forces threaten to shoot migrants abandoned on desert border: reports

Hundreds of migrants have been left stranded on the Tunisian border with Libya throughout July, with some being forced to walk into the desert with no way back, according to reports.

Migrants left stranded on the Tunisian border with Libya have been shot at by security forces and forced to walk into the desert, according to videos posted online on Monday.

Footage appeared to show Tunisian security forces firing warning shots in the air as a group of men and women walked into the inhospitable border region.

One member of the group told The Libya Observer they were forced to keep walking into the desert and warned if they headed back to Tunisia they would be shot.

In the space of two weeks, Tunisian forces have collectively expelled hundreds of Black African migrants to the militarised zone of Ben Guerdane on the border with Libya. The move has been slammed as “inhumane” and “unconscionable” by rights groups.

Libya’s Tripoli-based interior ministry released a video that appears to show Libyan security forces rescuing migrants abandoned in an inhospitable region close to Tunisia.

Sub-Saharan Africans remain in a highly vulnerable situation in both Tunisia and Libya as anti-migrant rhetoric reaches a fever pitch and reports of abuses by both countries’ security forces.

Anger is also growing over fresh European funding for Tunisia to strengthen its border agencies, which have been implicated in the repressive treatment of migrants.

“Tunisia just signed a deal with the EU on migration, negotiated by the Italian far-right. 150 million + 900 million to prevent illegal immigration to Europe,” said Amine Snoussi.

“The same country that was deporting migrants to no man’s lands near the borders last week.”

The deal, covering over €1 billion euros in funding, reportedly aims at stemming irregular migration and was signed by nationalist Italian PM Georgia Meloni, outgoing Dutch leader Mark Rutte, and Tunisian President Kais Saied at the Carthage Palace on Sunday.

The agreement commits both parties to “address the challenges posed by the increase in irregular migration in Tunisia and the EU,” while “recognising the efforts made and the results achieved by the Tunisian authorities”.

Amnesty has said the new deal shows a “callous disregard for basic human rights standards” and “makes the European Union complicit in the suffering that will inevitably result”.

Reporters have approached the Tunisian embassy for comment on the claims.

Source: The New Arab