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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Les « migrerrants » d’Afrique de l’Ouest

by Marie Barbier

West Africa’s “Wandering Migrants”

Translated Tuesday 21 December 2010, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Gene Zbikowski

What consequences has Europe’s immigration policy had on the countries of the southern hemisphere?

The subject is not well understood and is difficult to study, but an interesting answer to the question is given in a report that will be published tomorrow by the CIMADE, the ecumenical inter-aid organization.

In February 2010, the Malian association of deportees, the Niger citizen’s alternative spaces, and the Mauritanian association for human rights undertook a study of the consequences of European immigration policy on the Mali-Mauritania border

The conclusion of this on-the-ground study is stark: by sub-contracting its immigration policy to third-party countries, the European Union has made itself responsible for serious violations of fundamental rights, notably in the desert border zones hidden from the eye of civil society. Would-be emigrants are subject to being turned back, to violence, to being forced underground, and to being locked up.

“The EU’s interference occurs without any consultation of civil society or evaluation of its human consequences – the exact opposite of the values of liberty, equality and justice on which the EU has been built,” the report says.

The irony of the situation is that these migrants are the victims of a Europe that does not enter their dreams, since 90% of the migration is between African countries.

The precarious situation of the migrants has recently been worsened by the fight against terrorism in this part of the Sahel. “There is a lumping-together of terrorists and illegal immigrants who are listed,” Moussa Tchangari, a representative of citizen’s alternative spaces, explained. “Not only does this create all kinds of trafficking, but it also causes enormous frustration among the traditionally-nomadic local populations.

European immigration policy condemns these migrants to perpetual wandering.

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