Regular mass deportations from Algeria to Niger continue. With at least 894 people deported in a non-official deportation convoy on 29th of September and at least 1275 people deported on the first of October 2021 in a large official convoy, the number of people deported since the beginning of the year 2021 amounts to at least 18749 people.
Algerian security forces arrest migrant women.
Archive photo of another raid and deportation action in the past.
The deportations are taking place in violent conditions of disregard for human beings, often putting the lives of the people being deported at risk. In Niger, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, many of the people being deported are stuck in miserable conditions.
Non-official deportation convoy on 29th of September 2021
According to the observation of Alarme Phone Sahara whistleblowers, 894 people deported from Algeria in an "non-official" deportation convoy arrived at the Assamaka border post on 29th of September 2021. Among them were seven children of minor age. The largest groups of deportees were nationals of Guinea Conakry, who numbered 284, nationals of Mali, who numbered 181 and nationals of Sudan who numbered 179.
Besides them, there were again citizens of many different countries of Subsaharean Africa: 38 people from Sierra Leone, 32 from Ivory Coast, 19 from Cameroon, 46 from Benin, 17 from Senegal, 31 from Burkina Faso, 12 from Nigeria, 6 from Ghana, 3 from Guinea Bissau, 11 from Liberia, 14 from Tchad, 4 from Togo, 6 from Eritrea and 9 from Central African Republic.
Regularly, people in "non-official" deportation convoys are left in the border area between Algeria and Niger, in the middle of the desert. With this practice, the Algerian security forces always put the lives of the deportees at risk: The deportees have to walk between 15 and 20 kilometres through the desert in order to reach Assamaka, the first Nigerien village after the Algerian border. Hungry, dehydrated, and it is feared that many will not make it, if people are lost in the desert.
Official deportation convoy on 1st of October 2021
According to the whistleblowers of Alarme Phone Sahara, 1275 people deported from Algeria to Niger in an official convoy arrived at the Assamaka border post on 1st of October 2021. Among them were 67 minor girls, 101 women, 100 minor boys and 1007 men. Again, the high number of 167 minor children among the people deported is worrying, given that cases of child abuse and separation of children from their parents are regularly reported from deportation convoys from Algeria to Niger.
Deportation agreements and externalisation of borders
Official deportations from Algeria to Niger take place on the basis of a bilateral agreement signed in 2014 for the deportation of Niger nationals, many of whom live in Algeria in an often seasonal migration context. However, the Algerian state also takes advantage of this to deport numerous nationals from other countries, especially from Sub-Saharan Africa, in "unofficial" convoys, and so far the Niger authorities lack the power or the will to stop this practice.
Alarme Phone Sahara notes a worrying and outrageous trend that according to figures documented by its whistleblowers, deportation convoys are getting larger and larger, with regularly almost or more than 1000 people deported in a single convoy.
The deportations from Algeria to Niger and the human rights abuses by Algerian security forces should also be seen in the context of the policy of externalisation of borders by EU countries, which have agreements with Niger to help close migration routes and which also collaborate with Algeria, among other things in the form of the provision of large capacities of military vehicles and "security" technology.
In view of all this, Alarme Phone Sahara continues to requests:
⦁ An immediate halt to the deportations and pushbacks of refugees and migrants from Algeria to Niger and other neighbouring countries!
⦁ The cancellation of the deportation agreement between Algeria and Niger!
⦁ An immediate halt to the deportation of children and the separation of children from their parents!
⦁ An end to acts of theft and violence by Algerian security forces against migrants and refugees!
⦁ The commitment of the state of Niger to defend its citizens who suffer persecution, human rights violations and deportations in Algeria!
⦁ Truth and clarification from the Algerian state on what really happened in the deportation convoys that left Algiers on 12th and 25th of March 2021, especially if it is true that people were killed in bus accidents!
⦁ Algeria and Niger must stop collaborating with the policies of outsourcing European borders on African soil and taking military and security materials to use against the migrant population!