Facing uproar, Tunisian president denies he’s stoking racism

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s president has rejected accusations that he is stoking anti-Black racism. He says that he has sub-Saharan African friends and that his comments last month targeting migrants were misinterpreted by his enemies. President Kais Saied drew criticism from international partners and aid groups for linking sub-Saharan African migrants to violence, and for lashing out at a perceived plot to erase Tunisia’s Arab identity. The comments fanned scattered racist incidents targeting Black Africans in Tunisia, and prompted some African countries to evacuate their citizens. In response, Saied said late Wednesday that he is proud to be African. He insisted that Tunisian authorities are just upholding the law when they arrest migrants without residency papers.