Tunisian president Kais Saied called on Thursday for his government to take care of "legal" migrants from sub-Saharan Africa.
The appeal followed accusations on Wednesday by Tunisian human rights groups of hate speech after Saied said on Tuesday that "hordes" of sub-Saharan African migrants were causing crime and posed a "demographic" threat to the country.
"To all leaders at every level, look after our brothers from sub-Saharan Africa who are in a legal situation. This is a matter for the state. It must take its responsibilities. There is no question of allowing anyone in an illegal situation to stay in Tunisia. There is a state and institutions", said the Tunisian president.
According to official figures, Tunisia, which has a population of some 12 million, and is home to more than 21,000 nationals from sub-Saharan African countries, most of them having arrived in an irregular situation.