[ 26. Mar 2008 ]

Appeal from Bamako

From 15th to 16th of March 2008, public meetings with migrant workers who have been deported or sent back from Europe took place in Bamako, Mali. Documentation of an appeal to the the Malian government.


The open days were organized by the Malian association of the deported and their support, the magazine Sanfin, Cargo cult, the Keyra network, Help Mali, No Vox, LJDH, CAD Mali. These days included the militant and combative participation of around two hundred migrants expelled and refouled by civil society and European partners.


The International context is developing to the detriment of migrants. Immigration law doesn't stop hardening with the reinforcement of repression and the putting in place of migration management controls

The application of the Hague program in 2004 (the externalization of border controls) has also reinforced repression against migrants in Europe. This program has transformed transit countries into the 'policemen of European borders'. This is a real war that is under way. The 'soldiers' are the African states and the borders agency; FRONTEX is its armed European wing. The first victims of this war are travelers without visas, who endure the worst suffering while attempting to reach Europe's borders and who also are forced to endure the worst humiliations by the authorities of African countries that they cross, who act as accomplices of the European states when they are refouled back to Mali.

The 'return' directive of the European which will be voted in May prefigures the detention of people in irregular situations for 18 months , and a banishment from European soil for 5 years for those who are deported.

The European Union, and more specifically France to make it easier to pass their migration policies are using the money that would be destined for investment in African countries. These funds won't be sufficient to meet even the basic needs of our countries as can be seen by the fact that in Mali the proportion of money sent back in remittances payments is superior to that which is designated as aid.
These funds which are said to be for development are in fact now to be spent on migration control; EUR 10 million coming from the EU Fund for Development are financing the future Malian 'Centre for Information and Management of Emigration' whose purpose will be migration control and the fight against migration.

Today the rights of Malians outside Mali risk being completely destroyed with the readmission agreements the French state wants to sign with the Malian Government. Of course the French government is putting the Malian government under a lot of pressure as with all other African states to sign these agreements but the Malian government must resist, especially during the 8th meeting of the Franco-Malian committee which will take place in Paris from the 17th and the 19th March 2008. We must resist Mali: mustn't be sold out.

The undocumented, the deported and the refouled are in struggle together throughout different organizations in Europe and in Mali. They are coming out of 'clandestinity'. They have had enough of being ashamed and have decided to fight for their rights. We have to develop this mobilization not only to denounce deportations but equally to demand our rights.

We demand from the Malian state

  • To not sign the bilateral readmission agreements with the French and Spain, opening the way to the quotas of chosen immigration and increasing the expulsion of Malian sans papiers workers
  • to stop granting the 'laissez passer' which facilitate deportations of Malians
  • the legalization of all undocumented migrants
  • the reunification of families
  • to demand the french state the restitution of belongings of deported people and that they can receive benefits according to the contributions they paid
  • to denounce the EU return directive which is a real humiliation for African people
  • to refuse the collaboration with the Frontex agency, created to manage the externalization of European borders
  • to stop the opening of the international center for the management of immigration, "CIGEM", its money should be used for the assistance of deported and refouled people.
  • to give help to all deported and refouled people who went to the west to help their families and to help their country develop
  • to create a mixed committee including representatives of the government and of those deported to evaluate the impact caused

We hope to continue from now on a common struggle, after having reinforced our relationships.

We ask all deported people to come and join us and to mobilize massively.

Bamako, March 16, 2008

With the support of the organisations present at that meeting:
ARACEM, AIPDRDA, Cimade, Droit Devant, Confédération Générale du Travail, Réseau Education Sans Frontière,Réseau Noborder/frassanito, Comité des Sans papiers, Confédération National du Travail (Secrétariat international), Collectif 69 de soutien aux demandeurs d’asile et sans papiers, MRAP Rhône, Solidaires Rhône, ANAFE.