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Again, Nigeria denies deportation of nationals from Germany

  • Nigerian deportees from Germany
 • Nigeria Embassy economical with deportation details 
• Pregnant deportee slumps as fiancé takes poison hearing her deportation
A number of  Nigerian migrants were yesterday ( February 26, 2020) deported by the Germany authorities.
The deportees said over  40 of them, each handcuffed and manned by four security men were  brought back in an EU chattered plane.
The plane landed few minutes past 4pm and flew back after refuelling as it is usually the practice.
Our crew (Voice for African Migrants, VAM)  and representatives of Refugee4Refugee, a political platform for refugees/migrants self-organisation based in Stuttgart, Germany, had waited at the cargo section  where the Nigerian authorities often ‘dump’ the deportees but to their chagrin the deportees were not dumped there this time around.
Instead of the cargo section, the deportees were ‘dumped’ in front of the Pilgrim and Cargo Terminal of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja.
An airport source said it was a deliberate plan by the authorities to keep the deportation secret and especially away from the prying eyes of  the media.
“They wanted to deny the deportation but from every indication, the plot has abysmally failed. I am yet to understand why the authorities would continue to be evasive on an issue like this.” the source said.
We, had exclusively reported that Germany  was going to deport the fourth batch of Nigerians yesterday. This might have formed part of the decision not to take them to the cargo gate.
Although a good number of the deportees had left before we and others became aware of where they were dumped, we were able to meet about five of them, some of  who had no means of calling their relations or going home.
Traumatised as they were, the deportees said no Nigerian government  official came to counsel or soothe their frayed nerves.
“All they did was to take our profiles. Some were even asking us for money. That was the height of their insensitivity to our plight,” one of the deportees said despondently.
A female deportee, who said she is six months pregnant after receiving a telephone call started crying and slumped. She was immediately assisted by other deportees.
“They told me that my fiancée took poison when he heard that I have been deported,” she said still sobbing.
Another female deportee, who did not want her name in print, said by the nature of health challenge that she has, the German authorities ought not to have deported her.
The stranded deportees relied on support from representatives of Refugee4Refugee to pay their ways back home. The organisation had also made hotel accommodation plans for deportees who might not have somewhere to stay.
Another embarrassing denial by Nigeria Immigration Service 
The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) which officials attended to the deportees on arrival has once again surprisingly denied knowledge of the exercise.
The National Public Relations Officer of the service, Sunday James said he wasn’t aware of the deportation.
“Not to my knowledge,” he replied when asked if the service was aware of the deportation.
The spokesman of the service at the Murtala Airport, Edet, said: “Sorry I travelled. I am in in Uyo. I may not know exactly. I travelled,”
Nigerian Embassy economical with truth
Nigerian embassy in Germany was economical with the truth when asked about the deportation. The reponse placed side by side with that of immigration show that there is more than meets the eye about the deportations.
It also further confirms the deportees’ allegations that they are often don’t defend them before the Germans.
Speaking on the deportation, Nigeria’s envoy in  Germany, Peter Lambat, said:  “By our records, 33 Nigerians were scheduled for deportation on 26/2/20. However, recall my last explanation  the last time on variances that that could arise against the official  figures.”
Confirming our report that four deportation had so far taken place this year, the envoy said:   “Yes, there has been other exercises but of fewer persons since beginning of the year.”
Asked if by their records the deportation had not taken place since he said that the deportees were scheduled for deportation, he said:”I used the word because I do not know if the flight took place as scheduled.”
Since he is an envoy right there in Germany, Lambat was  asked to verify if the flight took, as the deportees were seen in Lagos yesterday.  The envoy was yet to respond as at the time of filling this report ( more than 10 hours after).
45 Nigerians were deported by Germany- Activist
Putting the records straight, the Coordination Activist of   Refugee4Refugee, a political platform for refugees/migrants self-organisation based in Stuttgart, Germany, Rex Osa, says a total of  45 Nigerians arrived yesterday Lagos from Germany. “From witnesses report, to each deportee was five police officers assigned. While some of the deported persons were taken into deportation custody a few days before the scheduled flight departure,  most of them were arrested the previous night from their sleeping beds and conveyed to the airport.
” There were only three  ladies amongst them. The 4th lady was released to go back home with her kids and husband before the flight departed MÜNCHEN Airport.
“By normal standard, no airline will transport a more than 6months old pregnant lady. On the other hand, this is a situation of Germany  separating families as usual. One of the deported was arrested  during an appointment to submit the doctor’s proof of his 5months old pregnant wife. Another one was arrested in the presence of his close to  three months old pregnant wife who is a German.”
Reacting to Nigeria Immigration Service’s claim about the deportation, Rex said: “That would mean that the German government is smuggling suspected Nigerians into the country. The  response from the ministry of interior on questions we had put forward through a German parliamentarian. We had requested to know the communication of deportation enforcement with the Nigerian govt. In their response, they claim that the Airport Authorities are informed about 4weeks in advance alongside communication through the foreign representation with the Nigerian foreign affairs’ ministry. Then, how come the immigration office is not notified. But there are always immigration officers who receive and profile them on arrival.”
Rex also frowned at NIgerian embassy’s failure to come clean on the deportation. He said: “Would this not mean a total disrespect for so-called diplomatic relations. Its also shameful to understand the whole power relations. That is if the embassy officials are telling the truth. After all they are actively involved in facilitating the deportation by issuing deportation  document at the request of the German deportation regime.
“How can the embassy identify and issue deportation papers for people out of suspicion by physical appearance otherwise accent in this civilisation. The German  bereaucracy can never allow that anywhere but they continue to impose and corrupt out government.”

READ  Nigerian migrants’ sojourn in Middle East ends in woes

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UNHCR and IOM shocked and dismayed by deaths near Belarus-Poland border

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and are deeply saddened by the deaths of four individuals near the border between Poland and Belarus. The organizations express their condolences to the families of the deceased and are calling for an immediate investigation into this tragedy. The nationalities of the all the victims have yet to be confirmed but two Iraqi nationals reportedly died of hypothermia.

In recent months, groups of asylum-seekers and migrants have been transiting through Belarus, to seek asylum in neighbouring EU Member States – Lithuania, Latvia and Poland.

The two agencies have been following with growing concern, reports of pushbacks of people at these borders. Groups of people have become stranded for weeks, unable to access any form of assistance, asylum or basic services. Many were left in dire situations, exposed to the elements, suffering from hypothermia. Some were rescued from swamps.

READ  No respite for refugees, IDPs as calamities continue to befall camps

Recognizing the significant challenges posed by irregular movements, the agencies have called for the situation to be managed in accordance with international legal obligations, and for States to work collaboratively to resolve the situation, prioritising human rights.

UNHCR and IOM call for immediate access to those affected, in order to provide lifesaving medical help, food, water and shelter, especially in light of the approaching winter.

While States have the sovereign right to manage their borders, this is not incompatible with the respect for human rights including the right to seek asylum. Pushbacks endanger lives and are illegal under international law.

UNHCR and IOM have been engaging with relevant authorities to explore various options for the people who continue to be stranded at borders; from access to asylum, family reunification procedures, and voluntary return for those found not to be in need of international protection.

IOM and UNHCR reiterate that asylum-seekers and migrants should never be used by States to achieve political ends. The fundamental responsibility to protect vulnerable people should be shared among States in a spirit of solidarity. Political disagreement on responsibilities must never result in the loss of life, forfeiting States international obligations and commitments.

READ  Malians, Guineans, Senegalese among scores of migrants intercepted on English channels

 

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UNHCR calls on Libya to urgently develop plan for asylum seekers and refugees, welcomes authorization to restart evacuation

Libya. UNHCR provides assistance to asylum-seekers caught in crackdown

A refugee feeds her baby while waiting to receive assistance at an emergency distribution by UNHCR and partners in Tripoli, Libya.  © UNHCR/Mohamed Alalem

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, today urged the Libyan government to immediately address the dire situation of asylumseekers and refugees in a humane and rights-based manner. Raids and arbitrary arrests by the authorities this month targeted areas largely  populated by refugees and asylumseekers that resulted in several deaths, thousands detained, and many homeless and destitute.

“Since the start of the security raids and arrests by the Libyan authorities in October, we have witnessed a sharp deterioration in the situation facing vulnerable asylumseekers and refugees in Tripoli,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s Special Envoy for the Western and Central Mediterranean Situation. “The Libyan authorities must come up with a proper plan that respects their rights and identifies durable solutions.”

Some 3,000 people are currently sheltering outside the Community Day Centre (CDC) in Tripoli, where UNHCR and its partners have been providing medical assistance and other services. Their situation is very precarious. Many were affected by the raids, demolition of their homes, and have escaped from detention in terrible conditions. Others have joined the group hoping to be evacuated.

READ  World Day Against Trafficking in  Persons:  The Migrant Project presents Nigeria’s human trafficking fact sheet

“Many have been left homeless and lost all their belongings as a result of the security operation and are now sleeping in the cold and in a very unsafe environment. This is utterly unacceptable,” said Cochetel.

UNHCR and partners had to suspend operations at the Community Day Centre for security and safety reasons, but remain engaged in an active dialogue with representatives of the protesters outside the CDC to explain the limited assistance it can offer, including cash and food assistance.

Together with other UN agencies, UNHCR stands ready to support an urgent plan of action that could help alleviate the terrible suffering of asylumseekers and refugees in Libya. 

UNHCR continues to call on the authorities to respect the human rights and dignity of asylumseekers and refugees, stop their arbitrary arrest and release them from detention. 

The UN Refugee Agency has welcomed authorization to restart humanitarian evacuation flights, but warns that it is not enough. 

“This is a positive development for some of the most vulnerable refugees, who have been waiting anxiously for many months to depart. Our teams are already working to ensure humanitarian flights can restart as soon as possible,” said Cochetel “But we also need to be realistic: resettlement or evacuation flights will only benefit a limited number of people.”    

More than 1,000 vulnerable refugees and asylumseekers are currently prioritised for humanitarian flights and awaiting their resumption. UNHCR continues to urge the international community to offer more legal pathways to safety outside Libya.

READ  Migrants play key role in disaster response, IOM explores diaspora’s engagement in humanitarian assistance

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Free movement of people a top priority, say West African nations

Aligned migration policies must be effectively applied by border officials to ease free movement while combatting trafficking in persons, says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Photo: Fredrick Ejiga/IOM

Abuja – Free movement of people and goods, and fighting human trafficking should be top policy priorities, members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed at talks convened with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Network for Migration and the African Union.

Three days of consultations in Abuja this week offered the first chance for ECOWAS members to collectively assess progress in implementing the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) objectives and to decide key recommendations to be put to next year’s International Migration Review Forum.

Integrated migration governance should be a key goal and Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior for Ghana, the Chair of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments, said it was essential African nations addressed trafficking in persons and its devastating consequences on migrants.

READ  Coronavirus likely puts a halt to deportations from Germany

“Vile stories on international media concerning migrant slavery, as well as mistreatment of young African domestic helps in some Gulf States, call for a reflection on appropriate actions to be taken with a view to finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem that leads to the loss of young Africans, without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future,” Dery said. “In Ghana, the contribution of migrants has played a great role in shaping our national development.”

Governments must address the root causes of trafficking and ensure the free movement of people in a safe, orderly and dignified manner. ECOWAS representatives emphasized the need to join forces and align approaches to prevent and counter smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons to promote rights-based management of migration.

The meeting, which ended Thursday, also heard that policies must be effectively applied by border officials to ease free movement while combatting trafficking in persons.

Aissata Kane, IOM’s Senior Regional Adviser for Sub Saharan Africa, said the Global Compact for Migration was a landmark, multilateral document. “It aims to catalyze and boost combined support and assistance for addressing legal and humanitarian challenges of migration and foster its positive social, cultural and economic dividends within and outside the ECOWAS region.”

READ  Migrants play key role in disaster response, IOM explores diaspora’s engagement in humanitarian assistance

IOM has been working with all stakeholders at intergovernmental and national levels, as well as within the UN Network for Migration, to promote safe, orderly and dignified free movement of people and economic exchange among ECOWAS Member States.

Support Voice for African Migrants


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Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

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