Some migrants claim that they were abused by Algerian officials before and during their deportations. Algeria is one of several North African countries that have not signed an African Union protocol on the free circulation of people.
Organizations in the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) have denounced that Algeria has recently deported hundreds of African migrants as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration.
Algeria has repatriated 27,000 sub-Saharan migrants since 2015, according to Interior Minister Nouredine Bedoui, who added that repatriations are still ongoing.
27,000 migrants forced to return home since 2015
Algeria “is a key destination and a transit country for many African migrants, mainly from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso or Chad,” the ECRE said.
People who were deported from Algeria at the beginning of March said that they were detained in makeshift camps for a few days before they were held at gunpoint and taken across the border aboard trucks.
They said that they then “had to cross the desert for hours to reach In Khalil, the first city in Mali.” Some migrants said they were robbed by armed groups along the way.
Protests against abuse
ECRE reports that Niger has repeatedly protested against the inhuman treatment suffered by its citizens in Algeria. Last February, Interior Minister Mohamed Bazoum criticized the activity of Algerian authorities regarding the expulsion of migrants from western Africa to Niger and urged Algeria to sent them to their home countries instead.
At the beginning of March, Malian citizens who were repatriated protested against the abuse suffered by sub-Saharan migrants at the hands of Algerian officials, vandalizing the Algerian embassy in Bamako, Mali.
Algeria, together with Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and a certain number of other countries, has refused to sign an African Union protocol on the free circulation of people over fears of mass migrations from sub-Saharan Africa to North Africa.
TunisianMonitorOnline (Info Migrants)