After abandoning thousands of sub-Saharan migrants in the Sahara desert, Algeria has now deported Syrian refugees to Niger.
Rabat – Algeria has deported dozens of Syrian refugees to Niger, saying they entered the country irregularly, reported Syria TV on Wednesday.
Quoting a source, Syria TV said Algeria deported about 50 Syrians, including women and children, to Niger.
The source added that the migrants had been stranded for 85 days due to their irregular status before they were deported. The source also expressed fear that Niger might deport the migrants back to Syria, a conflict zone since 2011.
Several Syrian activists condemned Algeria’s move. The Syrian president of the Syrian Center of Studies and Legal Research, Anwar Al Bounni, wrote on his Facebook in November that dozens of fleeing Syrians “are stuck in an Arab country, Algeria.”
Al Bounni said that there was a “tendency to return them back to criminal,” referring to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.
He asserted that Algeria’s intention was a “violation of international humanitarian law as Syria is not safe.”
The president of the opposition group Syrian Negotiating Body, Nasr Al Hariri, wrote on his Twitter that his organization had communicated with the Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Syrians, who are facing the “deportation danger to Syria.”
“Their deportation means death or arrest and revenge,” Al Hariri argued. With the civil war, Syria also become an easy target for terrorist groups, including ISIS.
Earlier this year, international NGOs accused Algeria of abandoning migrants in the Sahara desert. In June, the Globe and Mail reported that Algeria had abandoned 13,000 migrants in the previous 14 months, including women and children, without food and water.
Earlier this week, US President Donald Trump ordered troops to withdraw from Syria, saying that the US had defeated ISIS.
“We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency,” Trump tweeted.
In contrast, the Moroccan government believes that ISIS still poses a threat to every country. Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigation (BCIJ) head, Abdelhak Khiame, said, “No one should say that the ISIS threat has ended.”
He added that the war against ISIS will take a long time.