For Freedom of Movement & Fair Development!

Call of Bamako 2008

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. The open days were organized by the “Malian association of the deportees” (AME) and their supporters, the magazine Sanfin, Cargo cult, the Keyra network, Help Mali, No Vox, LJDH, CAD Mali. During these days around two hundred expelled or returned immigrants, and organisations from the civil society and their European partners participated in a militant and combative spirit.At the end, the following appeal was approved:

The call

The International context is developing to the detriment of migrants. Immigration laws become more and more harsh by reinforcing repression and establishing migration management controls

The application of the Hague program in 2004 (on the externalization of border controls) has reinforced repression against migrants in Europe. This program has transformed the transit countries into the 'policemen of European borders'. A real war is on his way. The 'soldiers' are the African states and the border 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 the European borders and who also endure the worst humiliations by the authorities of African countries that they cross, who act as accomplices of the European states when they sent them back to Mali.

The 'return' directive of the European Union, which will probably be endorsed 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.

To pay for their migration policy the European Union, and more specifically France use 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 by migrants is superior to the money send as so-called aid. These funds which are said to be for development, are in fact now spent on migration control; The 10 million euros from the EU Fund for Development were used to finance the future Malian 'Centre for Information and Management of Emigration' whose purpose will be to control migration and fight irregular migration.

Today the rights of Malians outside Mali run the risk of 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 they do 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 also to demand our rights.

We demand from the Malian state

  • not to sign the bilateral re-admission agreements with France and Spain, opening the way to the quotas of chosen immigrants and the increased expulsion of Malian 'sans papiers' workers
  • to stop granting the 'laissez passer' which facilitates the deportation 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 the right to receive benefits according to the contributions they paid
  • to denounce the EU return directive which is a real humiliation for all 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 to assist deported and refouled people.
  • to assist 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 all 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.