BY DOUGLAS REDFERN
JOHANNESBURG- The United Nations (UN) on Tuesday ordered Algeria to stop deporting Africans into a desert.
Felipe Gonzalez Morales, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants said ordered the North African nation to “immediately stop the deportation of African migrants” to a desert.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that Algeria has expelled 35,600 Nigerians to Niger since 2014 – more than 12,000 since the beginning of 2018 – as well as more than 8,000 migrants from West Africa since September 2017.
The UN had on several occasions urged Algerian to halt its deportations with no results. The report released on Tuesday by Morales sets a sharp tone towards the Algerian leaders about the expulsion of migrants, thrown without water and without food in the Algerian desert.
Morales said: “I call on the Algerian government to immediately stop the collective expulsions of African migrants to Niger. Among the latter, many migrants lived and worked for several years in Algeria, where their children were born and educated.”
The report says “Migrants are rounded up at their homes in the middle of the night”, “without even having time to get dressed, to take their belongings and their savings”. They are taken to police stations, “beaten” and then deported by bus to the Niger border, where they have to walk to the nearest city.
IOM has repeatedly criticized the treatment of African migrants by Algeria, including these forced repatriation operations. Algiers had refuted in July the accusations of ill-treatment.