The ECOWAS mission to the Republic of Niger, from 25 to 30 September 2022, on migrants stuck in Niger en route to North Africa and Europe has concluded its deliberations.
Consequently, the mission issued a series of recommendations to member states, technical and financial partners, as well as the ECOWAS Commission.
The mission delegation included Prof. Fatou Sow Sarr, ECOWAS Commissioner for Human Development and Social Affairs, as Head of Mission, representatives of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the most affected Member States (Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Senegal , Ivory Coast, Niger, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Gambia, Sierra Leone and Benin), the ECOWAS Director of Humanitarian and Social Affairs, Dr. Sintiki Tarfa-Ugbe, experts from the ECOWAS Commission departments in charge Human Development and Social Affairs, as well as Free Circulation.
While the Mission deplored the increasingly frequent mass deportations of ECOWAS citizens from the Maghreb, particularly from Algeria to the territory of Niger, the Mission underlined its commitment to uphold respect for migrants in accordance with international law through dialogue and in an environment of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
The representatives of the Member States present together with the ECOWAS experts issued a recommendation to the authorities of the respective Member States to promote a legal environment conducive to the good governance of migration and strive to give a human face to the management of migration.
migration between the ECOWAS countries and the Maghreb.
They issued a further recommendation inviting and urging ECOWAS to join member states through its platform, Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA), for concerted migration management with the Maghreb.
A subsequent recommendation to development partners involved in migration issues called for support for initiatives aimed at putting a human face on migration, strengthening national and transnational collaboration between technical departments, and collaboration with respective governments on actions humanitarian measures to facilitate the return and reintegration of migrants.
For the Maghreb countries and all other regions, the mission recommended discouraging the forced return of people in need of protection.
Finally, the mission participants praised the efforts of the Government of Niger, humanitarian and development partners, international organizations and Civil Society to receive deportees from the Maghreb.
At the end of the Niamey mission, Professor Fatou Sow Sarr, on Friday, September 20, 2022, met with the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of Niger, Mr. Laouan Magagi, the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Adamou Souley, the Minister for Women’s Affairs and Child Protection.