Guinean teenager’s hell journey in Algeria

Guinean teenager’s hell journey in Algeria

The European news website InfoMigrants has just published a feature story on the hell a Guinean teenager, named Ahmed, went through when his bad luck took him to Algeria, where he could hardly find a job and where he ended up in prison before being deported manu-military to the desert near Niger’s borders.

The 15-year-old Guinean had been living in Algeria for 5 months when he was arrested in September and thrown in prison before he was abandoned in the desert.

“Ahmed, along hundreds of people, was abandoned in the desert, about fifteen kilometers from the Nigerien town of Assamaka,” InfoMigrants stated, quoting the teenager as saying “the Algerians dropped us off in the desert and fired two shots in the air to scare us.” This is “an increasingly common practice in recent months,” the author of the feature noted.

Ahmed who relates how he had been arrested while looking for work, says “I was arrested because I am black. The police asked me for my papers but I didn’t have any and I didn’t want to show them my passport because they would have torn it up. They told me ‘Go back to Africa’ and they took me to prison.”

After he spent three days in Adrar prison, he was driven, along some 400 other people, men, women and children to Tamanrasset. From there, the migrants, including some who had been living in Algeria for more than ten years, were taken to a place, 15 kilometers from the Nigerien town of Assamaka and abandoned there.

The teenager recounts how the journey from this desert place to Assamaka was long, difficult and exhausting, and how the International Organization for Migration (IOM) took care of them upon arrival in Niger.
The youngster is currently in Niamey in an IOM center awaiting the completion of procedures before returning back home. “For the moment, I cannot yet return to Guinea. With other Guineans, we wait for the IOM to collect our identity documents, passes, etc. I can’t wait to go back to my country,” Ahmed says.
These deportation operations of foreigners living in Algeria to Niger have been more and more numerous in recent months. They are causing organizational problems in Niger, especially in the tiny town of Assamaka, which is sometimes overwhelmed by arrivals.

Return operations to the countries of origin of migrants expelled from Algeria to Niger have been greatly slowed down in recent months due to administrative and health constraints imposed by the States and sometimes linked to the Covid-19 epidemic. The insecurity of certain areas also complicates the return journeys of migrants.

InfoMigrants is an information site aimed at combating misinformation to which migrants fall victim wherever they are: in their country of origin, on the road, or already in the country where they hope to build a new life.

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