Regular mass deportations from Algeria to Niger continue. With at least 587 people deported in a non-official deportation convoy on 9th of October and at least 505 people deported on 11th of October 2021 in an official convoy, the number of people deported since the beginning of the year 2021 amounts to at least 19841 people. For comparison: In 2020, according to the figures of Alarme Phone Sahara, at least 22631 people were deported from Algeria to Niger.
Activist from Sokodé/Togo in protest
against deportations from Algeria (21st of May 2021)
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. In addition, the situation of Nigerien citizens among the deportees is exacerbated by the fact that since 2020, the Nigerien state no longer supports these people in returning to their home communities.
Non-official deportation convoy on 9th of October 2021
According to the observation of Alarme Phone Sahara whistleblowers, 587 people deported from Algeria in an "non-official" deportation convoy arrived on foot at the Assamaka border post on 9th of October 2021. Among them was one girl of minor age. The largest groups of deportees were nationals of Mali, who numbered 242 and nationals of Guinea Conakry, who numbered 202.
Besides them, there were again citizens of many different countries of Subsaharean Africa: 21 people from Sudan,18 from Sierra Leone, 38 from Ivory Coast, 6 from Cameroon, 8 from Benin, 13 from Senegal, 18 from Burkina Faso, 4 from Nigeria, 2 from Ghana, 2 from Liberia, 4 from Tchad, 7 from The Gambia, one person from Somalia and one from Congo.
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 11th of October 2021
According to the whistleblowers of Alarme Phone Sahara, 505 people deported from Algeria to Niger in an official convoy arrived at the Assamaka border post on 11th of October 2021. Among them were 42 minor girls, 22 women, 19 minor boys and 422 men. Again, the considerable number of 61 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.
State of Niger ended return support for citizens deported from Algeria
According to state representative Ousmane Moussa, who talked to Alarme Phone Sahara whistleblower Oumarou Hadi in Assamaka, since 2020 the state of Niger does not support any longer its citizens who are deported from Algeria to Niger to return to their respective home communities. People who have been victims of deportation also confirmed this from their own experience. It has to be pointed out: People who are deported from Algeria to Niger usually arrive empty-handed, which makes it very difficult for them to make the trip from Agadez, where the official deportation convoys usually end, to their respective home towns and villages. Money and valuables have usually already been taken from them by Algerian security forces.
Alarme Phone Sahara strongly critisizes that the state of Niger withdrew this basic support for its citizens who have already suffered from the harmful and traumatic experience of deportation. Instead of this, the state of Niger should take a stance against the Algerian state's policy of persecution and mass deportation and cancel the deportation agreement it signed with Algeria in 2014.
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!