No to deportations from Algeria to Niger and Mali! Stop the persecution and violence against migrants!
An activist from Sokodé, Togo, supporting the demand
"No to deportations of migrants from Algeria to Niger"
Your Excellency Ambassador Nor-Eddine Aouam,
the Afrique Europe Interact network and Alarme Phone Sahara are addressing you because of an urgent situation that migrant communities living in Algeria are experiencing:
For years, sub-Saharan African communities have been exposed to unspeakable violence by the Algerian authorities and live in extremely precarious conditions.
Despite criticism, Algeria continues to deport and return migrants en masse to the borders of Niger. Most of them come from West Africa, mainly from Niger, Guinea Conakry and Mali. This kind of collective deportation is frequent. In 2020, the total number of such mass deportations amounted to 22631. In March 2021 alone, a total of 6249 people were deported from Algeria to Niger via Assamaka (Niger) in official and unofficial convoys according to our observations. On 12th of April, there was deportation of 1329 Nigerien citizens during a single day and on 10th of May another convoy arrived with 1218 people, among them 61 unaccompanied children, most of them between 10 and 11 years of age, many of whom showed signs of ill-treatment. Once again, the practice of separating minor children from their families and relatives and deporting them in violent and abusive conditions shows the disregard of children's rights by the Algerian security forces.
In addition, during the movement of these convoys, tragic accidents have occurred. Algerian sources reported serious accidents during the deportation convoys where many people lost their lives while others were seriously injured. Until now, there has been no clarification from the Algerian authorities:
Case of 12th of March 2021:
According to various sources in Algeria, "more than 50 people were killed in a bus accident". Clarifications are urgently requested from the Algerian State on what really happened in this deportation convoy which left Algiers on 12th of March 2021 in the direction of Algeria's southern border.
Case of 25th of March 2021:
According to other Algerian sources, an accident occurred on 25th of March, somewhere on the road between Algiers and Tamanrasset (located almost 2,000 km south of Algiers) during the deportation of hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants on board 82 coaches during which dozens of people were seriously injured, many of them in a desperate state.
Regularly, people transported in "unofficial" deportation convoys - mostly nationals of other sub-Saharan African countries apart from Niger - 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 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.
In order to deport them, migrants are stopped all over the country, in the street, in their workplaces, in their homes, in shops... They are put in cells for several days, even weeks, where some claim to have been beaten and stripped of their belongings. Then, the exiled people are bundled into buses and sent back to the desert, to the border between Algeria and Niger. The images of this umpteenth scandal in the inhumane treatment of sub-Saharan migrants by Algeria are unbearable.
These waves of raids, arrests and deportations since September 2020 are a direct result of the "migration reform" and the creation of an inter-ministerial commission to combat "irregular migration", announced by Algerian Interior Minister Kamel Beldjoud during a plenary session of parliament on 30th of September 2020. The consequence of such a political decision justifies conditions of arrest, detention, and expulsion by the Algerian government that are contrary to the fundamental principle of non-refoulement and are practices contrary to international human rights law and refugee law.
In view of the above, Afrique-Europe Interact and Alarme Phone Sahara demand:
1) The truth and clarification from the Algerian state on what really happened in the expulsion convoys that left Algiers on 12th and 25th of March 2021, especially if it is true that people were killed in bus accidents!
2) An immediate halt to the practice of deportations of children who are not even officially registered, putting the safety of children at risk and risking child disappearances!
3) An immediate end to the separation of children from their parents and an end to the arrest, abuse and deportation of children!
4) An immediate halt to deportations and pushbacks of refugees and migrants from Algeria to its neighbouring countries, especially Niger - no war on refugees and migrants!
5) An end to acts of theft and violence by Algerian security forces against migrants and refugees!
6) The cancellation of the deportation agreement between Algeria and Niger!
7) Algeria 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!
In the spirit of struggle for a world concerned with the respect of human rights in their fullness, we cordially greet you.
Alarme Phone Sahara
made in Agadez / Berlin, 21st of May 2021
For more information:
Report on "African Arguments" quoting figures from Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF):
Website of Alarme Phone Sahara: