Al­ge­ria ex­pels 260 Malians; po­lice ac­cused of bru­tal­ity

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Some 260 Malians ex­pelled from Al­ge­ria in a mas­sive swoop against il­le­gal African mi­grants ar­rived home Sun­day to Mon­day ac­cus­ing Al­ge­rian se­cu­rity forces of bru­tal­ity and say­ing many had been hurt and some killed. There was no in­de­pen­dent or of­fi­cial con­fir­ma­tion avail­able and Al­ge­rian author­i­ties of­fered no com­ment on the op­er­a­tion early this month when asked by AFP.

“We were beaten up and at least three Malians were killed,” said Ous­mane Coulibaly, who was among those gath­ered at a gov­ern­ment of­fice who had re­turned to Mali overnight. He said the Al­ge­rian forces were “racist”. Rounded up in “a big yard” af­ter their ar­rest in the cap­i­tal, Al­giers, some of the Malians hurt their heads against walls and iron bars when try­ing to es­cape from be­ing beaten, Coulibaly said. “Oth­ers were hurt and one died dur­ing the trans­fer from Al­giers to Ta­man­ras­set and the Niger bor­der,” he said. The oa­sis city in south­ern Al­ge­ria, in the Ahag­gar Moun­tains, is the big­gest city be­fore reach­ing the Niger and Mali bor­ders.

Moussa Kante, who was also de­ported, con­firmed the al­le­ga­tions and added that the group “lacked water and food.”“When we were be­ing sent to Niger they gave us one loaf for 40 peo­ple,” he said. De­por­tees were sent to the NIger bor­der by bus and then put on the road to the Niger cap­i­tal, Ni­amey, “in trucks gen­er­ally used to gather sand,” said 22-year-old Ou­mar. Some said they had been ex­pelled de­spite hav­ing of­fi­cial pa­pers and many claimed their money and phones had been seized.“We were ar­rested on the first” of De­cem­ber, said Yous­souf Doumbia. “We asked peo­ple, and the army, why we were ar­rested. They told us they were vac­ci­nat­ing peo­ple.” —AFP

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