Stranded in Niger, with no evacuation flights and no hope of help from the IOM or other institutions, Malian migrants left Arlit in northern Niger on foot on 30 October 2023.
In a video message posted on social media, they said they wanted to walk first to the city of Agadez and from there continue their journey back to Mali.
They appeal to the leaders of Mali and to "all people of goodwill" to come and help them.
Video message of Malian migrants:
Person 1, Momo Amadou Kane :
“Madou, we're going home, the road is good! We have to walk! Everyone is hearing me. Momo Amadou Kane coming from Loma Sekke Kano in the Kayes region. It's going to be a very long walk, but we don't even have a choice any more, because the people who were supposed to listen to us and help us don't give a damn about us. There's no hope left. We don't even have a plan any more, but we have to leave.
Yesterday we walked to the IOM office, but the police quickly cleared us out. There are no evacuation flights for us. For other countries, there were some flights three, four times to get back to their countries, but for us there are no flights, no hope. They say they are tired.
The embassies, the IOM, it's the same slogans. They make other nationalities leave, but they don't give a damn about the Malians. Malians have to fend for themselves.
Really, we're tired, we have to go our own way! Salam to everyone!“
“Well said, Amadou! We're the Mandés in the Sahara! Today is 30 October 2023. Hi everyone, we've had a great day, and we hope to God that the night goes well too, and that we sleep in good glory!
We've left Arlit to go to Agadez. We're on this road, and we've already walked 11 kilometres. We're appealing to our Malians, especially the religious men. Religious men or Christian men, it doesn't matter. If you find this video, share it until our leaders see this message.
We were in the hands of people who showed us that they couldn't help us to get to Mali. We no longer have any solution, no money to pay for our transport back to Mali.
There have been deaths. If it stays like this, we're all going to die here. Even if we don't die, many others will.
We're appealing to our Malian leaders, for God's sake, to help us and come to our rescue, because we're all Malians. Any voluntary help, any goodwill, is welcome. Sharing is also a help.
Salam to all! This is the message of 30 October 2023 for our leaders and people of goodwill.“
Various people walking:
"We have to show the Malians that we've already walked 20 kilometres. Arlit - Agadez, Agadez - Niamey, Niamey - Bamako. You can see how things are going, it's all Malian children.“
"We've just left Arlit, Arlit - Agadez, Agadez - Niamey, Niamey - Gao, Gao - Bamako!“
"It was the Malian ambassador who said to do as we please, that even if we wait until November, December or January, there won't be any flights. There will be no more flights for Malians here until 2024.“
"We've lasted here, we've been lugging around here for eight months!"
Alarme Phone Sahara stands in solidarity with the Malian migrants who are no longer ready to remain stranded in Arlit in miserable conditions with no prospects, and who have taken their fate into their own hands.
At the same time, we are deeply concerned about the danger for these people by crossing sparsely populated desert regions on foot, where there are also many security risks.
We call on the Niger authorities to do everything in their power to find out where these Malian migrants are now and to ensure that they are safe and sound!
We also call on the Malian authorities and international organisations to respond to the demands of the Malian migrants who set off from Arlit and to do everything possible to ensure their return to Mali, which is what they want!
In addition, Alarme Phone Sahara demands :
- An immediate halt to all deportations from Algeria and other countries to Niger!
- Humanitarian aid, accommodation and care for migrants and refugees in Niger must be guaranteed and not suspended because of sanctions against Niger!
- In addition to the IOM initiative for a humanitarian corridor for the return of migrants from Niger to their countries of origin, Alarme Phone Sahara is also calling for evacuation and resettlement programmes for people stranded in Niger towards other countries!
- No to the externalisation of the European border regime, which is one of the main reasons why thousands of migrants and refugees are stranded in Niger!