The Algerian authorities have resumed their witch-hunt against illegal migrants in a cleansing campaign ahead of the 2022 Arab summit they are hosting Nov.1-2 in a bid to white-wash their disastrous legacy.
Neither Palestinian migrants nor Syrians were spared from the Algerian regime appalling deportation policy which violates international law and the rights of migrants and asylum- seekers.
The move shows that the deceptive Algerian propaganda machine trumpeting Arab solidarity is just hot air and empty slogans used by ruling junta to deflect the public opinion’s attention, particularly the pro-democracy protesters who are demanding regime change.
According to press reports, a group of more than 140 Palestinian and Syrian migrants have just arrived in Niger’s city of Agadez after they were abandoned to their fate in the desert by Algerian security services.
Few days ago, another group of 60 Palestinian and Syrians migrants reached Niger and suffered the same ordeal and nightmare. In their moving and heartbreaking accounts, all these migrants say they were stripped of their identity document and tossed in the desert in awful conditions with minimal food and water.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) says Algeria has deported more than 1,200 West African migrants to Niger since the reopening of land borders between the two countries on 14 July.
For years, international NGOs have slammed the Algerian authorities for their ill-treatment of Sub-Saharan migrants, where in some cases they had been left without water or food in the middle of the desert.
In June, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also denounced the inhumane treatment of migrants expelled from Algeria and called for the respect of human dignity and migrants’ rights.
From January to May 2022, MSF recorded 14,196 migrants expelled from Algeria, including 6,749 non-Nigeriens. Some 139 of these migrants were women, and 30 were minors.
Approximately two thousand migrants are deported from Algeria and Libya every month on average, including people with severe injuries, rape victims, and people suffering from serious trauma.
Upon expulsion, these migrants are abandoned in the middle of the desert at the Algerian-Nigerien border, at a place called “Point Zero”, 15 kilometres from the town of Assamaka.
“The seriousness of the abuses committed against migrants is beyond dispute. The testimonies of our patients and their physical and mental condition when they arrive in our health structures prove that these people have gone through hell during their expulsion from Algerian and Libyan territory,” said Jamal Mrrouch, MSF’s Country Director in Niger.