Speech after the march commemorating the dead on their way to Europe
*Text of the Bamako-Dakar caravan for freedom of movement and equitable development
read on the 28th of February 2011 in Nioro / Mali after the march commemorating the dead on their way to Europe and especially the two refoulés who died exhausted in Nioro*
Europe has many secrets and one of the secrets is Nioro / Gogui. Because here in the middle of Africa, we are at the European border. And this is a second colonization. “Europe is closing our borders” was the echo after one of the African agreements with one of the European countries, member of the European Union.
We see here in Nioro victims of European policy, the refoulés are present, expelled and rejected migrants by the Mauritanian authorities.
It is Frontex – the European agency of border control – that stops the African migrants in African waters. That is how they are delivered to the prison for migrants in Nouadhibou that the refoulés call “Guantanomito”.
It is Spain that finances this center of humiliation and violence, without any legal protection.
It is Europe that pays the transit countries – buffer states – to accept the charter planes for the expulsion of undocumented migrants who end up in the prison of Nouadhibou. We are talking here for example of charters from Spain to Mauritania.
It is Europe that pays the transit countries to make arbitrary arrests of migrants who are 'suspected' of wanting to go to Europe. And this way a new anti-immigration regime is introduced in Africa with the euro. We're talking about families who lived and worked for years in Mauritania and end up at once in Guantanomito.
Then there is the road of refoulement of 3 to 4 days and nights with 22 people in a minibus, who receive for the road: a bottle of water, bread and at the best biscuits and a few sardines. The conditions of these collective expulsions are close to torture, according to Amnesty International.
This is how the refoulés reach the Malian border of Gogui, sometimes handcuffed. This is how refoulement are made possible thanks to Europeans payments. The Mauritanian authorities themselves say that the refoulements are taking place “under the explicit desire of Spain.”
It is also the Malian state that accepts donations from Spain to reinforce the borders. The border posts of Gogui / Nioro must protect European border.
It is with this hunt for migrants – carried out by Frontex and transit countries, gendarme of Europe – that Europe exports / externalizes its responsibilities. Everyone knows that asylum seekers are victims of this European policy. This is the way Europe avoids that human rights are respected and applied for migrants.
We are solidair with the refoulés. Returning from Dakar the members of the Africa-Europe Interact network will denounce and act with greater momentum in Africa and Europe against the practices of the European Union, its member states and agencies such as Frontex.
For freedom of movement and equitable development
Nioro / Mali, 28th of February 2011