French Interior Minister Visits Algeria, Discusses Immigration, Organized Crime #Terrorism

2018/03/15 – French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb has discussed with Algerian officials, during his visit to Algeria, the issues of secret immigration, organized crime, combating terrorism and exchange of security information about extremist groups that are active in the African coast.

Human Rights Watch criticized Algeria for deporting a large number of Malians, considering it « contrary to its commitments in the area of migrant workers. »

A source from the Algerian Interior Ministry told Asharq Al-Awsat that Minister Noureddine Badawi and his French counterpart will oversee a meeting of Algerian governors with some French governor, tackling the organization of the local administration and the experiences of the two countries in the field of « participatory democracy.”

Collomb is expected to meet with Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia and Minister of Religious Affairs and Endowments Mohamed Isa as they will discuss a new program to send Algerian imams to France to frame its mosques.

The source added that the issues of fighting illegal immigration, being a source of many disadvantages, such as drugs and religious extremism », will top the agenda of the French official’s visit.

Collomb will head to Niger after Algeria, where he will participate in a regional conference on secret immigration with officials from Chad, Mali, Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, Libya, Germany, Italy and Spain.

This issue will be discussed within the framework of the outcomes of the « Elysee Conference, » which was held in August 2017. It was re-discussed at the AU-EU Summit at the end of the same year in Abidjan (Ivory Coast).

Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch denounced again this Wednesday Algerian authorities that have arbitrarily deported in the beginning of March more than 100 migrants of various African nationalities into a lawless zone of neighboring Mali, where armed groups have robbed some of them.

Algerian authorities failed to adequately screen the migrants to determine their status and give them the opportunity to challenge their deportation, including those who might have refugee claims and to collect their savings and belongings, said the human rights watchdog.

“Algeria should treat all migrants with respect and decency, give them a chance to challenge their deportation and not expose them to the risk of suffering inhuman treatment,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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