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Tunisian groups warn of 'wave of hate' against black Africans following Tunisian soccer loss

02/03/2015 01:58 EST | Updated 04/05/2015 05:59 EDT
TUNIS, Tunisia - Tunisian groups warned Tuesday about a "wave of hate" against sub-Saharan Africans in the wake of the national team's loss to host Equatorial Guinea in the African Nations Cup.

A questionable penalty call in the final minutes of Saturday's game allowed Equatorial Guinea to equalize the score and then win in extra time, provoking on-field brawls involving coaches and players.

An association of African students in Tunisia said there had been at least a dozen attacks in the capital and the southern city of Sfax against the sub-Saharan community since the game.

For its part, the liberal Afek Tounes political party denounced "acts of violence" against Africans living in the country.

"These acts contradict our own African belonging and our principles of brotherhood and hospitality," it said in a statement.

According to Yamina Thabet, who heads the Tunisian Association in Support of Minorities, there were attacks against dark-skinned Tunisians as well, underlying the racist rather than just xenophobic nature of the incidents.

She told The Associated Press that the "wave of hate" was particularly pronounced on social media with calls for enslaving blacks and letting them be killed by the radical group Boko Haram.

She said Tunisia needed a law penalizing racism.

Many sub-Saharan Africans travel to North Africa for education, jobs or seeking travel to Europe and many complain of racism and discrimination at the hands of lighter-skinned locals.

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