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Death of Malian Migrants at Sea: the AME leads initiatives to prevent future tragedies, the government responds

Following reports of the sinking of a boat of migrants on July 28, 2014 off the coast of Libya, the AME has initiated a series of activities to inform the public and to call on the government to act on these issues.

On Saturday, August 2, the AME received the solicitation of the Association of Migrants from the Region of Kayes (AMRK) to pool resources and knowledge in order to work together on communicating the concerns of the families of those missing and to jointly make recommendations. Exchanges were then made with some families of missing migrants in some affected villages in the region of Kayes and in Bamako. Given the national impact of the event and the magnitude of its effects in the Bafoulabé area of northern Kayes, the AME created a united front of Malian civil society by contacting the regional association for migrants along with other partners and local advocates of human rights, as well as Amnesty Mali and the Malian Association for Human Rights.

On Sunday, August 3, AME received a representative of the Kayes Migration association. We have formed a task force to make recommendations to the government and international organizations to help curb such tragedies and promote local development, starting with our observations in Mali.

On Monday, August 4, the AME accepted an invitation from Radio Klédu to give our analysis on the causes of this phenomenon called “illegal” immigration, during the “Grand Journal de 14h” and to participate in debates on the issue on a program later in the afternoon conducted in the Bambara language to reach as wide an audience as possible. These radio emissions were reposted to other FM channels to widely inform people about the practices and policies enacted in transit countries, as well as to illustrate the politics of migration management and the impact of immigration restrictions on the lives of people who migrate.

These communications have led the government to react quickly by calling the Ministry of Malians Abroad and the editors of newspapers to participate in a press conference and to elucidate the position of the authorities and provide a space to discuss new initiatives.

On Tuesday, August 5, the press conference was held at the Ministry of Malians Abroad with the spokesperson of the ministry and journalists from major media outlets. The remarks of the Minister were published on Wednesday in the national press and relayed on the internet. (see )

In the same vein; AME and its local partners have developed a statement to expand the ongoing debates on the disastrous management of migration by the host country, but especially to demonstrate the links between the failures of African governance of migration and the bankruptcy of European policies that criminalize immigrants.

This statement appeared this Thursday, August 7, 2014 in several newspapers (see )

The AME held a joint press conference organizing a conference on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at 10 am on the following subjects central to understanding African migration today: the Spain-Mali Agreement signed for seasonal workers in circular migration, the reasons for the struggle waged against bilateral agreements with France, suggestions for developing a national policy on migration, the formulation of regional policy (especially in Kayes) that must be integrated into national policy, and the various forms of protection for people under international law and with respect to conventions signed by the Malian state.

We are continuing our development of a national migration program and international activities that will provide for the respect of migrants’ human rights and the prevention of tragedies such as the one that struck so many Malian families on July 28, 2014.

- Alassane Dicko for the Malian Association for Deportees

Tuesday 26 August 2014

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