Casablanca - Hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants and refugees have been sent to a camp in Tamanrasset in the process of being expelled from Algeria.
Casablanca – Hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants and refugees have been sent to a camp in Tamanrasset in the process of being expelled from Algeria.
Accounts from the site suggest they are being held in deplorable conditions.
Algeria has recently begun deporting hundreds of sub-Saharan migrants and refugees towards Niger, going against the 1951 Refugee Convention as well as the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families, both of which protect the rights of migrants and refugees.
A camp in Tamanrasset, in the south of Algeria, currently houses several hundred migrants and refugees. Personal accounts from the camp site shared with RFI Afrique indicate inhumane treatment of the deportees.
According to RFI, the people being held in the Tamanrasset camp were fed very poorly: One meal a day — “rice with two bottles of milk for 25 people. No milk.”
“The police won’t let us outside. If we go out, they beat us. They’re treating us like dogs,” one migrant tells RFI.
Authorities, says the same source, later let migrants and refugees leave as of December 8, while others were put in vehicles headed to Nigeria. “I’m going to spend the night outside and sell my phone to by a bus ticket [back to Alger]” one person told RFI.
Sources close to the case added that Nigeria itself hadn’t agreed to receiving the migrants but to serve as a transit zone.
Controversy surrounding Algeria’s expulsion of hundreds of migrants and refugees has made the rounds this week. On Friday, December 9, the Human Rights Watch issued a report demanding that Algeria halt the deportations and respect the 1951 Refugee Convention.