On a mission to work at the transit centre of IOM’s West African migrants in Agadez, Niger’s Minister of the Interior, Mohamed Bazoum, on Wednesday (February 21st) blasted Algeria’s behaviour and its tendency to expel migrants to Niger.
Some 770 young people are in transit in the centre visited by the minister, whose overwhelming majority, according to him, are West Africans sent back from Algeria. Algeria must repatriate these migrants home, hammered the minister.
It is in the company of the Nigerien Prime Minister that the Minister of the Interior, Bazoum Mohamed, went to the transit centre of West African migrants of Agadez, a centre of the International Office of Migration, full to crack.
“We have 770 young people in transit, an overwhelming majority of whom are young Africans returning from Algeria…” said Bazoum Mohamed.
Just under a third of the migrants are Niger nationals. The State will make every effort to welcome them: “We are ready to welcome all Nigeriens whom Algerians would no longer wish to see on their territory. This is not a problem for us. And as long as they return, we will be willing to welcome them to the border and bring them home.”
According to Bazoum Mohamed, Niger is not a dump where West African nationals are dumped at its border.
“Algeria must review its copy, we had long discussions with the Algerian authorities on several occasions, during which we asked them to stop sending young people from Mali, Guinea and other countries back to us. We are ready to welcome all Nigeriens whom Algerians would no longer wish to see on their territory. On the other hand, we told the Algerian authorities to stop sending us young Africans”.
“Guinea is closer to Mali than Niger, but they send back the Malians, they send back the Guineans, they send us the Senegalese… Really, I would like to take advantage of your microphone to appeal to the Algerian authorities, to look at this question we’ve been asking them forever…”
This “deplorable” situation is no longer “bearable” regrets the minister.
Niger and Algeria share 900 kilometres of common border.