What the drama of Zarzis teaches us

“You are lucky to have found your son’s body”. Amidst the dinghies, families only want to find the remains of their loved ones, identify them and bury them to find a semblance of peace. All they ask is to know the truth. What happened to their loved ones? Why did no one survive this tragedy? What happened exactly? Nothing more. This right has been denied to them.

What Zarzi’s families wanted was a dignified death for their children. A decent burial and recognition of their bodies, some of which were placed with the many unknowns at the Garden of Africa Cemetery. No effort was made to identify them or inform their families. The reasons for their departure and the risks they run are known to the next of kin. They accepted them and they live with them. Some even pushed them to borrow these death boats, others were forced to say goodbye to them before they even left.

We all want the same thing. The conditions for a dignified life, respect, enough to live decently, a future for our children, health… We are both the same, but so different. Is Tunisia alone, unique, homogeneous or multiple, plural? She is both at the same time.

We are talking about two Tunisia. There are not two, there are both several and only one that brings us all together, despite our differences and our many divergences. However, the Zarzis drama may not touch all of you. It cannot outrage the masses. Some may not feel concerned about the fate of these young and old, men and women, families and children, who risk their lives to go and live under skies that are not necessarily better. After all, they chose their own death. Chose to risk their lives for an uncertain future. Where they will not have the right to dignity or a decent life. Where they will be hunted like dirt and will have neither peace of mind nor stability for their children. Why are they leaving? If they go, it’s not because they’re trying to reach an eldorado, it’s because they’re fleeing hell…

The officials did not understand this. Or do everything possible not to admit it. Boats of death are mowing down citizens every day, and we continue to approach the problem in a way that is safe, technical, and so free of any relation to reality. It is obviously easier to throw the responsibility on others and move away from the essentials to be only interested in the details, rather than face the problem, delve into it and recognize its faults.

“Everyone will have to accept their responsibilities” ; “the phenomenon of illegal migration can only spread because of land-based sharks” ; “some intend to mistreat the people and destroy all hope of a decent life in their country”; ” it is necessary to look for the reasons to pressure the citizens to borrow the boats of death”. This is what the head of state is asking for. It evokes : a global and international approach; initiation of an investigation; know the causes of this tragedy; bring those responsible face to face with their responsibilities… Nothing very concrete. Nothing is enough to assuage the anger of these bereaved families who only ask that we understand them…

The head of state devoted more space in his speeches to “those who hatch plans in the shadows”; to the 1.8 million people who came out to cheer him on in the streets; to the two officials who drove their official car to attend a political rally; to the demonstrations of his opponents … than to the drama that has shaken an entire city for several days. 18 victims of the sinking of a death boat and a real scourge that has claimed lives for years.

The management of this crisis has been beyond indecent. She was shameful, undignified… While the number of migrant departures from Tunisia is accelerating, only the security approach is in place. We talk about a lack of resources, but it is above all a lack of political will and solutions to this scourge, which is nevertheless so human.

Above all, what it tells us is that beyond the complexity of the problem and the reasons behind it, no hint of a solution seems to have been found at this point. No solution seems to be found…

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