gims bigflo and oli boycott tunisia for its disgraceful treatment of migrants

Gims, Bigflo and Oli boycott Tunisia for its disgraceful treatment of migrants

The issue of sub-Saharan migrants being turned back by Tunisian security forces at the Libyan and Algerian borders is a concern for human rights activists and is gaining artistic ground. And indignation is beginning to be expressed on the Mediterranean shores targeted by these illegal immigrants. Accused of having forgotten its original commitment, France’s rap-variety seems to be rediscovering its mojo, via the boycott lever.

On 30 July, on Instagram, Gims, a Congolese who arrived in France at the age of 2, announced the cancellation of his concert scheduled for 11 August in Djerba as part of the Urban Music Fest festival. On 2 August, the brothers BigFlo and Oli – born of an Argentinian father and a French mother with Algerian roots – spoke of a “postponement” of their performance scheduled for the same evening at the Carthage International Festival.

Keep reading

The former member of the Sexion d’Assaut collective explained that he did not want to travel to Tunisia because of the expulsion of migrants by the local authorities: “Children, women, men […] are living in inhuman conditions. […] I don’t know where the solutions are. But this extreme distress is unbearable…”.

The duo from Toulouse echoed the same sentiment on Instagram: “We don’t want to do the show at Carthage tonight knowing the current situation. In the song Rentrez chez vous, Bigflo & Oli imagined a reversal of the current migration paradigm, along the lines of the film Africa paradis, by Sylvestre Amoussou.

Following clashes that left a Tunisian man dead on 3 July, migrants were expelled from the town of Sfax, then abandoned at the border in the middle of a heatwave, without water, food or shelter. In the space of a few days, hundreds of illegal immigrants were rescued by Libyan border guards. But at the same time as Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed’s immigration policy seems to be hardening, the government in Tripoli has made it known that it refuses to “resettle” illegal immigrants from Tunisia on its territory. 

“By turning Tunisia into a border post, the EU is setting a precedent”.

A spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General said: “Several people have died at the border with Libya and hundreds, including pregnant women and children, are reportedly still trapped in extremely difficult conditions. A sword in the desert sand?

It remains to be seen what impact France’s rappers will have on the fate of these migrants. North African rap aficionados, for their part, are going from one disillusionment to another.