Malian Association for Deportees
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Deportation of 78 Malians from Equatorial Guinea: Mali demands an explanation

78 Malians were deported Sunday from Equatorial Guinea to Bamako. Officially, the Equatorial Guinean authorities affirm that they were undocumented immigrants. But according to the Malian Association for Deportees, many of those deported had legal documentation. Malian authorities have stated that they do not understand the deportations and demand an explanation from the Equatorial Guinean authorities.

Among the deportees includes young infants. Civil protection guaranteed their safe arrival to Bamako allowing the migrants to affirm that they were victims of mistreatment by the Equatorial Guinean state forces.
Taking responsibility of their arrival to Bamako by civil protection, they claim mistreatment by Equatorial Guinean authorities. According to the Malian Association for Deportees, the repatriation of deportees happened under “very difficult conditions.” They were deported after more than one month in prison, explains the association.
“A small piece of bread and one sardine had to be shared among three people. We had to eat with handcuffs on. Many people were abused, some became sick because of the difficult conditions of the voyage,” testifies one deportee upon his arrival to Bamako.
The deportation operation began with the arrest of a large number of Malian immigrants in villages like Malabo and Bata. According to the Minister of Malians Abroad, 78 Malians were affected by these deportations.
This forced return occurs while hundreds of other Malians are awaiting deportation and are currently in prisons controlled by Equatorial Guinea. Additionally, last night a flight was announced from Spain that had just returned from returning 20 African immigrants, including 10 Malians.
Malian authorities have stated that they do not understand the deportations. The Minister of Malians Abroad expressed his discontentment at the “difficult conditions” of repatriation and demanded explanations from the Equatorial Guinean authorities. Broulaye Keïta is the technical advisor for the Minister of Malians Abroad. He was invited to the “Grande Dialogue” event yesterday:
“We do not understand the rationale for the deportation of our compatriots. No Malian authority was informed, which is very bizarre. Even the consular authorities in this country were not advised, along with the government. That surprised everyone. When we heard the news, all of the relevant ministers (that of the interior, the foreign minister, and technical services), we were all shocked because we could not understand how such a significant number of people could arrive in the country and no one in authority had been alerted so that they could react. However, we are not going to stop there. We are going to express our discontentment with Equatorial Guinea and try to learn what really happened. You know, a country like Equatorial Guinea, for Malians to obtain a visa it is necessary to spend between 400,000 and 800,000 francs CFA…You see the complexity that there is today to immigrate anywhere in Africa. Nearby in Mauritania, we witnessed almost the same situation. It’s the same case in Central Africa, in Angola, etc. We see that more than 300 Malians have been arrested. It’s truly a reality everywhere.”
[translation provided by Carmen Azevedo]

Wednesday 15 April 2015

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