Ivory Coast Organizes Return of Citizens from Tunisia

Ivory Coast: how is the return of returnees from Tunisia organized?

Ivorian Nationals Repatriated from Tunisia due to Xenophobia and Violence

On March 4th, hundreds of sub-Saharan African nationals were repatriated from Tunisia following a wave of violence resulting from xenophobic remarks by President Kaïs Saïed. Among them were 145 Ivorian nationals, including 45 women and young children. They boarded an Air Côte d’Ivoire flight in Tunis and landed in Abidjan that same day.

Upon arrival in Abidjan, the returnees were welcomed by government officials after undergoing several administrative stages, including identification by the police, questioning by the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST), and listing by civil status services. Returned nationals were then transferred to a transit center set up at the Institute for Youth and Sports in Marcory for medical and psychological care for two to three days. Each repatriated individual will then receive a nest egg of 160,000 CFA francs (about 244 euros) to facilitate resettlement.

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While the Union of Ivorians in Tunisia commends the aid provided, the president Ange Séri Soka highlights the needs of other Ivorians still in Tunisia. He notes that nearly 5,000 Ivorians remain in the country, with some sleeping in olive fields without shelter due to violence, and is calling on the Ivorian State to negotiate with the Tunisian State so that these individuals can enroll at the embassy more easily.

The Ivorian authorities have promised to set up a transport system designed to help repatriate Ivorians still in Tunisia. Dr. Karamoko Gaoussou, director-general of the Diaspora, explains that the government has allocated funds so that those leaving Tunisian cities will be welcomed at the embassy and cared for by the authorities. The system will consist of going to search for them inside the country to bring them back to the capital. The authorities believe that some may have difficulties getting to the embassy due to the ongoing issues in Tunisia.

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