By Aurore Bonny
DOUALA, Cameroon (AA) - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Monday underscored its commitment to respect for migrants by deploring the expulsion from Algeria of nationals of the organization’s member countries.
ECOWAS citizens have been stranded in Niger while on their way to Europe via Maghreb countries such as Algeria and Libya, it said.
This finding was shared in the report of a mission of the West African bloc carried out from Sept. 25-30 in Niger to examine the situation of the citizens.
“While deploring the increasingly frequent mass expulsions of ECOWAS citizens from the Maghreb, particularly Algeria, to Nigerien territory, the mission underlined its attachment to respect for the migrant person as prescribed by international law through consultation in bilateral and/or multilateral cooperation,” ECOWAS said in a statement.
The bloc's member countries called on those in the Maghreb and all other regions to discourage the forced return of people in need of protection.
They recommended that West African states foster a legislative environment conducive to good migration governance and act to promote humane migration management between the Maghreb and ECOWAS countries.
They also encouraged development partners involved in the field of migration to support initiatives for migration “with a human face” and to strengthen national and cross-border collaboration between technical services.