kamel feki

Tunisian Interior Minister Kamal al-Fiqi denied UN reports stating the need to protect African refugees and migrants at the Tunisian borders.

In a statement Thursday to the Tunis Afrique News Agency, El-Feki insisted that such "claims" are unfounded, calling on concerned parties to get the facts right before publication in order to avoid the negative repercussions that impact the security establishment, which he said was making significant efforts to rescue migrants at the land and sea borders.

The minister denied reports alleging that his country is kicking out illegal African immigrants, saying they are handling this issue per Tunisian law and international treaties. He insisted that the Tunisian state is not responsible for incidents going on outside its territorial borders.

"These media whirlwinds do not affect Tunisia's relations with its brothers in Libya and Algeria. They will not affect the determination of the security services in confronting terrorism, smuggling, and human trafficking, or anything that affects human dignity," the minister added.

It may be worth noting that the Tunisian authorities had deported hundreds of African migrants, including pregnant women and children, many of whom remain stranded in the buffer zone between Libya and Tunisia.

Libyan border guards rescued dozens of those fortunate ones who got lost in the desert, while others died seeking help.

Libya's Prime Minister, Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, said in previous statements that his country will not be a state of resettlement for migrants," stressing the need for joint national efforts to address the phenomenon and return the migrants to their homelands.