Story of a Guinean migrant abandoned in the desert by the Algerians

The website “InfoMigrants” published on 2nd January, 2023 a testimony of a Guinean boy called Ahmed, aged 15 years old, who was arrested and imprisoned in Algeria before being deported and abandoned in the desert by the Algerian police.

Ahmed told “InfoMigrants”- a collaborative multiplatform project led by three major European media: France Médias Monde (France 24, RFI, MCD), the German international news channel Deutsche Welle, and the Italian news agency ANSA.

It is co-financed with the European Union- that he lived in Algeria for 5 months before he was arrested by the Algerian police because he was black/African. “When the Algerians dropped us off in the desert, they fired two shots in the air to scare us. They didn’t tell us anything except ‘Get off quickly’. They left us some food on the sand and they left right away. Some of the people who were deported along with me had been living in Algeria for more than a decade”, added Ahmed.

Describing his journey of deportation from Algeria, the Guinean migrant Ahmed said that “when we arrived at Assamaka, people from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) asked us if there were any minors among us, they took our names and gave us food. We stayed ten days in Assamaka, and then we went to Arlit, where we stayed for a month and three weeks.

Afterwards, we were transferred to Agadez, then to Niamey. In the (IOM) centre where I am at the moment, there are not many of us. We eat three times a day and (IOM) gives us soap to wash our clothes. But I sell it so I can buy a phone card to call my family. Now, I’m going back to Conakry, I don’t know what I’m going to do yet. I’ll probably work in my brother’s bakery”.

According to the “InfoMigrants”, the deportation operations of foreigners living in Algeria to Niger have been increasing in recent months. They cause organizational problems in Niger, especially in the tiny town of Assamaka, sometimes overwhelmed by arrivals.