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France minister in North Africa tour to arrange deportation of migrants

November 11, 2020 at 9:57 am

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin at a conference in Tunis, Tunisia on November 06, 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

France has increased measures to deport migrants residing illegally on its territory and counter the terrorist threat through diplomatic efforts, strengthening border security, and through arrest campaigns.

This comes following three terror attacks that took place in September and October. As a result, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin started a tour on Friday of a number of countries including those in North Africa to discuss “combating terrorism and illegal immigration”, reported Agence France Presse (AFP).

The tour started on Friday morning in Rome, where he stated that “the battle against terrorism is a war we are waging against an ideology,” while calling for “a cultural battle against this ideology, its financing, sources and those who support it abroad.”

READ: Human rights organisations call on Europe not to pressure Tunisia over illegal migrants

On the same day, Darmanin visited Tunisia, where he conveyed his country’s intention to deport 20 Tunisian citizens suspected of adopting extremist agendas.

“We talked about the seriousness of the phenomenon of terrorism, which is a challenge that the whole world is facing (…) there must be international cooperation,” said the Tunisian Interior Minister Taoufik Sharafeddine after meeting.

Darmanin then headed to Algeria and is expected to visit Russia in the coming days. This is an effort to deport migrants in France to their countries of origin.

The French Interior Ministry has said that so far, 26 out of the 231 illegal foreigners have been deported, adding that more than 100 others have been placed in administrative detention centres, where illegal migrants usually await deportation.

Darmanin acknowledged that there are difficulties to carry out deportations first due to the coronavirus and the closure of borders, stressing that “the countries of origin must also accept the deportation of their nationals, which will take time. Those migrants can also file administrative appeals as international law prohibits deportation to conflict zones like Syria and Libya.”

READ: Tunisia parliament slams interior minister for accepting citizens deported from France