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Tunisia’s migrant crisis: Fake video on social media fuel the crisis

Social media in Tunisia has seen widespread sharing of fabricated and misleading videos about migrants from sub-Saharan African countries, amid a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment in the country.

Tunisian President Kais Saied has stated that migration is a “conspiracy” aimed at changing the country’s demographic composition.

After fact-checking a number of videos circulating online that purportedly depict African migrants in Tunisia. Upon investigation, it was revealed that these videos were actually shot in other countries.

Several videos recently shared on TikTok show large groups marching down a street in what appears to be an angry protest, referring to angry African migrants protesting in Tunisia, but after debunking the video, it’s revealed that the protest happened in Dakar, Senegal, in 2022 from the opposition.

One video, which has gained millions of views, features an Arabic phrase that reads “Tunisia is under occupation”, while another video includes the phrase “Tunisia has become the kingdom of Africans”.

Upon further investigation, it was found that the events depicted in the videos did happen, but in the Senegalese capital of Dakar. It is clear that one of the videos was filmed Dakar.

The team traced the origins of the events and found that they were part of a protest staged by opposition groups in Dakar in June 2022.

Other videos circulating on TikTok falsely claim that the demonstrations depicted are being carried out by African migrants in Tunisia.

Among the examples that witnessed wide spread is a video that depicts groups of people as if they were from Sub-Saharan Africa, facing drivers and people and causing traffic jam.

The video is titled “Occupation of Sub-Saharan Africans for More Than One State in Tunisia”. Some comments on this post indicate that it is not in Tunisia but in Morocco.

At one point, a red car appears with a sign that says “small size” in Arabic, as it is common in taxis in the Moroccan capital. Although the rear license plate is difficult to see clearly, it bears five digits, as is customary in Casablanca.

In another video that has recently been circulating on the TikTok app, groups of people are shown crossing an open desert.

The video has a title that says: “A large number of Sub-Saharan Africans are crossing towards Tunisia.” But after verification, in a longest version of the video, it’s revealed that the video has no ties with the idea reflected in the title.

Fact checking process shows that most of the videos have been shot in Morocco, near the Spanish conclave of Africa, Melilla.

The wave and strike of such loads of video on the Tunisian social media landscape seems to be coordinated and well designed to create disruption, not only in Tunisia, but also in a region that is located half an hour far from the old continent.

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