Testimony by Yahaya Oumarou, deported from Algeria to Niger on 20th of June 2020

240 people deported from Algeria arrived in Agadez on 20th of June 2020 with a convoy called "official". In this group there were 4 women, 6 underage girls, 194 men and 37 underage boys. They were all placed in a camp located about 15 kilometres from the city centre of Agadez for health reasons. Two alert persons under the direction of Moctar Nalosso went to the place of accommodation of the returnees to assess the conditions of arrival and stay of these people. Yahaya Oumarou, having agreed to be interviewed, talks about the conditions of his forced journey:   

 

Interview with : Yahaya Oumarou

Interviewer : Safia Ayouba

Translation and editing : Nalosso Moctar

 

"(...) My name is Yahaya Oumarou from Tahoua region (Niger). I went to Algeria to earn money. In the middle of the Sahara, the security forces of Algeria deported us. We were seven persons. These men used their guns to intimidate us. We left behind all our belongings (money, cell phone, food) in the bushes. We were arrested and kept in their camp for 48 hours without eating anything. Requests for anything (food or drink) are answered with corporal punishment. Then they transported us to the city to an Algerian gendarmerie camp where a group of 20 people were assembled to give us some food dough. We had two minutes to finish eating while standing. Then we were taken to the stadium. We were all lined up like schoolchildren in front of a classroom with no right to do anything else. Anyone who dares to do something is in big trouble. You are even not allowed to go and ease yourself. We are even forced to sleep.

The worst was when they transported us to the Algerian police and gendarmerie stations. We were about a hundred all placed behind fences. This is where we started responding when we were beaten. This enabled us to put pressure on them. The police then slowed down to ask us to calm down.

We were then transported to the city of Tamanrasset. There, we suffered more than during the previous stages for more than a month. Some of us were injured as a result of torture. During Ramadan we ate only once a day at sunset only. We lived and endured everything until our arrival on our territory. We thank God for being on Niger Republic soil today. Alas! No one came here with any belongings (...)!"