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IOM: Algeria deports more than 1,200 migrants to Niger

African migrants who were arrested in Algeria while illegally attempting to get to Europe, leave the refugee camp located in the Zeralda region, suburb of the city of Algiers in northern Algeria after Algerian government has started the process of expelling thousands of migrants, on 28 June, 2018 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]
African migrants, who were arrested in Algeria, leave a refugee camp located in the Zeralda region, suburb of the city of Algiers on 28 June 2018 [Farouk Batiche/Anadolu Agency]

Algeria has deported more than 1,200 West African migrants, including Nigerians, to Niger since the reopening of land borders between the two countries on 14 July, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) announced Monday.

"On 18 July, an official convoy of 515 Nigerians who had been deported from Algeria arrived [in Niger]. On 16 July, 752 migrants from West Africa arrived by foot in Assamakka, the closest [Nigerian] city to the Algerian border," IOM's office in Niger posted on Facebook.

"After their dangerous and arduous journey, the migrants received non-food items (hygiene supplies and blankets) thanks to funding from the Italian Ministry of Interior," it added.

According to the United Nations (UN), Algeria has expelled tens of thousands of irregular migrants from West and Central Africa since 2014.

While some tried to live in Algeria, many sought to cross from there to Europe.

For years, Algerian and international NGOs have criticised the Algerian authorities for their treatment of Sub-Saharan migrants, where in some cases they had been left without water or food in the middle of the desert.

However, Algeria regularly denies these accusations, describing them as a "malicious campaign".

On 14 July, Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune announced reopening the land border between Algeria and Niger after closing it for 16 months due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

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AfricaAlgeriaInternational OrganisationsIOMNewsNiger
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