Tunisian Interior Minister Tawfik Charfeddine resigns Political News

Charfeddine, a close aide to President Qais Said, has been seen less in public in recent months.

Tunisian Interior Minister Tawfik Charfeddine says he has resigned for family reasons as the government’s crackdown on prominent opposition figures and a crackdown on sub-Saharan Africans spark international outrage.

Charfeddine, a close aide to President Qais Said, told reporters on Friday that he wanted to spend more time with his children after the death of his wife, Salwa, last year.

Charfedin, 54, who has been in office since October 2021, told reporters he wanted to thank the president “for his understanding and for relieving me of my duties.”

Salva died in June in a fire at their home caused by a gas leak.

Said has yet to announce a replacement for Sharfeddine, who was at one point considered the closest official to the Tunisian president, but has been seen less in public in recent months.

Sayed has taken control of the security forces since July 2021, when he dismissed Hichem Mechichi’s government, shut down parliament and ruled by decree before writing a new constitution adopted last year.

Sharfeddin also served as interior minister under Mechichi, who sacked him in January 2021 as relations between the president and prime minister soured. Syed reappointed him after dismissing Mechichi.

In recent weeks, Tunisian authorities have arrested prominent opposition figures who accuse Said of orchestrating the coup and accused them of plotting against state security.

Police have also cracked down on sub-Saharan Africans who do not have residency permits. Human rights organizations accuse them of detaining hundreds of people and turning a blind eye to racist attacks.

According to a February 21 Facebook post, Said called on security forces and authorities to detain and deport immigrants and called the migration a conspiracy to change Tunisia’s demographics, making it “only an African country” without belonging to the Arab and Islamic world.

Police then arrested hundreds of migrants, landlords forcibly evicted hundreds from their homes, and hundreds more were fired, according to the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights.

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