Radio France Internationale reported that IMO continues to save migrants in Algeria’s desert border while Algerian authorities are conducting a manhunt for migrants with the arrest of hundreds of Sub-Saharans who were later sent to the Zeralda prison in Algiers suburbs.
RFI added that Algeria is preparing for the deportation of nearly 3000 migrants, including asylum seekers and people in need of international protection.
The migrants are usually taken from Zeralda prison and sent to the southern city of Tamanrasset. Afterwards, authorities take them to the border with Niger where they are abandoned to their fate.
Rounding up migrants across Algeria and deporting them without giving them an opportunity to challenge their expulsion has been denounced by multiple human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.
Those expelled include migrants who have lived and worked for years in Algeria, pregnant women, families with newborn babies, and unaccompanied children.
Niger has repeatedly protested the inhumane treatment suffered by its nationals in Algeria as a reaction to the black manhunt launched by Algerian authorities, which are surfing on a wave of anti-migrant populism espoused by senior political figures in the country, who described migrants as a source of criminality, and as representing a threat to national security.
Civil society associations in Guinea, Gabon and Niger have urged the African Union to put the issue of the human rights violations by Algerian authorities against Sub-Saharan migrants on the agenda.
Anti-migrant discrimination and xenophobic rhetoric were behind the recall of the Guinean Ambassador to Algiers late last year. The decision by Guinean President, Alpha Conde, who was then AU chairman, drew attention to the double speak of Algeria, which aspires to have a voice in Africa while mistreating Africans on its soil.
At a time the African union puts the issue of migration on top of its concerns, Algeria, which often portrays itself as an actor in the continent, has flouted the basic principle of solidarity between African states.